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tv   Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  March 22, 2012 1:00am-6:00am EDT

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input. remarkably it removed transit from the highway trust fund. removed the guaranteed federal funding that's been in place, bipartisan basis, for 30 years, removes it. and it couldn't attract understandably a single democratic vote but they found out on the way to the floor they couldn't get enough republican votes to pass it either. now i'm proud to be offering had the senate bill, map 21, we're calling it h.r. 14 here in the house, and this bipartisan legislation should refocus the discussion on jobs and economic opportunities rather than the republican message this week of tearing down medicare and protecting the 1% at the expense of middle class families. h.r. 14 represents a bipartisan path forward that makes meaningful reforms and provides certainty to states. map 2 is passed overwhelmingly in the senate with a bipartisan majority. as you heard mr. andrews say, 3/4 of the senate voted for this
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bill. it's fully paid for. something that the house republicans seem unable to come close -- close to achieving and the h.r. 14 pay fors are less controversial than the pay fors in the house republican bill. it's been sfimented -- estimated that this bill will save $1.-- 1.8 million jobs and create up to one million more jobs. during a weak economic recovery, looking for a jumpstart, why aren't we passing this bill? why aren't we even debating this bill? why are we 10 days away from the expiration of the current extension and there's no plan, underline no plan, in this house to move forward. is h.r. 14 the silver bullet to our transportation needs? no, it's not. can i have an additional minute? mr. hastings: i yield the gentleman an additional one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you very much. i appreciate you yielding. there isn't a -- isn't a silver bullet when it comes to our infrastructure needs. i and a great many others would prefer a five-year bill. but given the hyperpartisan fashion in which the house republicans have advanced h.r. 7
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and some of the deeply flawed proposals included in their bill, h.r. 14 is the only proposal out there that currently democrats and republicans can stand behind. democrats will not wait around for house republicans to pander to their base and chase ideological extremes. americans want jobs and safe roads and safe bridges. the senate passed the biggest job creating bill in this congress by an overwhelming bipartisan margin, the house has done nothing. let's get thisountry moving again by passing h.r. 14 so the president can sign it. let's create jobs, let's make it in america and pass this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, may i inquire ofy friend from florida how many speakers he has? mr. hastings: madam speaker, would you advise both of us how much time each has? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida has six minutes remaining. the gentleman from florida, mr.
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nugent, has 14 minutes. mr. hastings: i have more speakers than i have time but i know that during that period of time that i'm going to have at least two more speakers and possibly three. mr. nugent: i'll continue to reserve. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. good friend, mr. defazio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for two minutes. mr. defazio: repeal and replace, at's what th republicans said they'd do. what's the replacement? apparently it's the ryan voucher plan whichwill stick it to seniors in the future. not too good of a replacement. but the other thing they're repealing that they don't want talk about is the repealing restrictions on age discrimination by the insurance industry, they would be repealing the restrictions on pre-existing conditions, to discriminate against people.
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redline them see lentionly by the insurance industry and they would be repealing the provision of reviewing excessive rate increases which has been already successful in california this year. so the republicans, you know, have come forward with this one part of the bill, they've already repealed l of obamacare, but now they're going to repeal it bit by bit because they don't want to do real things like deal with our transportation system and that. but there's one particularly objectionable part of this. they're going to pretend that they're king away the antitrust protection of the insurance industry. remember, this is an industry that can and does get together and collude to drive up our premiums. and just -- after the republicans do away with age discrimination, pre-existing condition and rate increases, the industry's going to have a field day. so they're pretending that they're going to allow suits against the industry for antitrust violations.
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unfortunately not really. if someone wants to bring a suit, they can't do it as a class action. well, more than 90% of antitrust suits are brought as class actions. dividuals do not have the resources to take on the insurance industry. so they're going to take something that in the last congress was bipartisan, a bill i had to really take away the anti-trust immunity in the insurance industry, give a benefit to all consumers in this country, pass this house by 406-19 and now they're going to fake out they think the american people by pretending they're taking on the insurance industry while they're filling their pocket with contributions from them. good work, guys. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: madam speaker, i'm a little confused because i thought we were talking about other issues than what the gentleman was just speaking to. particularly about, as it relates to ipab, and about tort reform and i'll be happy to reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the
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gentleman reserves. the gentleman fromlorida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: thank you very much, madam speaker. i'm very pleased to yield one minute to the distinguished woman from california, my good friend, ms. richardson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for one minute. ms. richardson: i thank the gentleman for yielding so that i might speak tohe house companion bill of map-21 of h.r. 14 of which i'm a co-sponsor. map-21, which we call h.r. 14 going forward, will generate jobs, repair roads and bridges and invest in our infrastructure. this surface transportation authorization bill passed by the senate by far with the majority and with bipartisan support. i come before you today to urge my colleagues to let's bring th bill fward, h.r. 14, so that we might establish some consistency, unlike what we saw with the f.a.a. re-authorization. consistency for states, for companies, for workers, for projects that need to get done. this bill will maintain current funding levels for highways and public transportation, it will consolidate and streamline highway programs and establish a
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much-needed national freight program. this bill will authorize $1 billion for projects of national significance which many of us feel in our own particular districts. h.r. 14 also improves the safety and institutes performance measures and improves accountability for transportation infrastructure investments. will the gentleman yield an additional 30 seconds? mr. hastings: i yield the gentlelady an additional 30 seconds. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. richardson: now is the time for swift action by this house on a bipartisan senate bill that will create and save at least 132,000 jobs in my area alone. transportation has always been bipartisan, let's keep it that way in this house and i urge the support of h.r. 14 and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. nugent: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: continues to reserve. the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: most respectfully i would ask of the speaker to inquire of the gentleman if he's
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ready to close. mr. nugent: i am ready. mr. hastings: all right. then i'm going to be our last hyperbole. madam speaker, first would you tell me just how much time i do have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. hastings: thank you. that said, madam speaker, i thank my friend for the debate and the time that he's allowed us. i think all of our colleagues who came here -- i thank all of our colleagues who came here. this h.r. 5 is going to be devastating to medical malpractice victims. parents -- patients shouldn't have to pay the price for excessive malpractice insurance. if we want to reform the medical liabilitsystem, let us start with addressing insurance costs and physicians' premiums. let us start with finding strategies to reduce and prevent mistakes and crack down on repeat offenders.
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today 5% of all doctors are responsible for 54% of malpractice claims paid. let's not start with penalizing patients for injuries due to no fault of their own. let's not give the american people another reason to believe that congrs is out of tch. thousands of people die each and every year due to medical malpractice. this is not frivolous. we had 16 of our memrs come forward yesterday to offer amendments. we're going to have six hours of debate on six, because we in the rules committee have the power to refuse to waive the power to allow those amendments to come in. some that included things such as not being able to allow a child 3 years old who may have a matter that doesn't manifest itself until he or she is 8 be barred because of time
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constraints. measures that deal with, like the pediatrician in delaware who raped 100 or more children, babies, and that physician would not be allowed r dish kw that one would argue that some lawsuitsre frivolous and they are. i am a lawyer. i am a trial lawyer. and so i clearly support the trial lawyers. so that's understand. but when people are dying, that's not frivolous and as i said, people want the best lawyer that they can find. madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the record along with extraneous materi immediately prior to the vote on the previous question and i urge my colleagues to vote no and to defeat the previous question. i urge a no vote on the rule and i do so for the reason that this measure does nothing, is going
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nowhere, will go to the senate and will not pass and everybody in this house knows it. we have to stop doing noing and do something for the american people and jobs. the speaker pro tempore: the ntleman from -- without objection, the gentleman's request is so ordered. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: madam speaker, i appreciate my good friend's confession about being a trial lawyer. i'm not. i'm not an attorney. so what i'm worried about is not how attorneys enrich themselves, i'm worried about the people that i represent, 250,000-plus, that are on medicare. i'm concerned about the i'm concerned about, you know, you hear from the other side, well, don't worry about it, it could be five, 10 years from now. well, you know what? i'm concerned now because why would you have something put in place that's going to ration care to our seniors when they need it the most? that's when they need it the most. we should be advocating for
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them. not for trial lawyers. we should be here talking about tort reform to lower the cost. if you look at what california did, they set up a model program. their liability insurance for doctors is lower than the average across the board in the united states. you know, this health care -- this act, health act, is modeled after that. regards to the noneconomic damages, limits on contingency fees for lawyers, big one there, about fair share, about, you know, a proportional -- whoever's at fault is as a oportion of that, referenced to how the claim gets paid out. but, you know, according to the c.b.o., ani heard this talked about before, but you know, ll the health care act work to reduce health care costs and lower the deficit?
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according to the c.b.o. it will. it will be an average of 25% to 30% below what it would be under current law which is ipab today. 25% to 30% less than what the current law ipab calls for. is this important? i think the relationship between a patient and a doctor should be between a patient and a doctor, not have a middle man called the united states government stepping in between you to say, you know what? we don't think that that service deserves a certain level of payment and by reducing that payment we know that that's thank service is not going to be provided. i truly don't believe that that's where we should be as a government and i certainly don't believe that we should be in between the patient and their physician. and i worry about and i hear this from dox all the time back in my district, that rich, you know what's diagnose to happen?
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we're just going -- going to happen? we're just going to close our doors. you know, those that are entering the profession, there's less and less because they're concerned about how they're going to make a living, how they're going to pay back those student loans that they have because they really want to pay it back, they want to do the right thing, but how are they going to do that? if they can't open a practice and if they can't take medicare patients because this board makes the decision to lower the cost of reimbursement? we've seen it already, every time we do doc fix, we have more and more doctors that ar in trouble because of the fact that they don't know what tomorrow's going to bring. . and i don't want our seniors to worry about what our seniors are going to bring i don't want to balance the budget on the back of our seniors. that's not where we need to be. yo know, as we move along
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here, the reason i stand here today is because i support and i'll defend our seniors which is why i support h.r. 5. because it's common sense. like i said, i'm not an attorney, i'm not a lawyer, so i have but one constituency that i worry about at this point on this particular issue and it is this issue. u heard things about transportation and all these things, but this is the pressing issue today in front of us. the issue is about tort reform. the issue is about ipab and repealing ipab so our seniors can have a direct relationship with the physician of their choice. of their choice.
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+ >> the house gavels in at 10:00 a.m. eastern with live coverage here on c-span. >> on washington journal tomorrow morning, former u.s. senator arlen specter on the presidential campaign and health care debate. also, neil irwin on the european debt crisis and recent testimony from fed chairman ben bernanke and treasury secretary timothy geithner on the economy. washington journal is live everyday at 7:00 a.m. eastern. >> they nailed down a rough day for when the hiv epidemic emerges. in most parts of the world, there is not much hiv, yet in most places, there is a ton.
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understanding that these two categories exist allows you to think, ok -- what keeps the virus moving and what can we do as a world to end it? >> author craig timberg tracks the history of aids sunday night at 9:00 on c-span2. >> ." that obama was in boulder city, nev., did in the copper mountain solar facility. during this event, the president outlined his energy strategy. [applause] >> hello, everybody. [applause] good afternoon. everybody, please have a seat. have a seat. it is wonderful to be here. thank you so much. it is great to be in boulder city.
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a couple people i want to thank for their outstanding work. first of all, our interior secretary, ken salazar, is in the house. [applause] he's the guy in the nice- looking hat. not only does it look good, but it protects his head, because the hair has gotten a little thin up there. [laughter] he is a good-looking guy. >> one of them. one of them. >> one of them. [laughter] that's right. there's the other guy. [laughter] i also want to thank your mayor -- a big supporter of solar energy -- and that's roger tobler, for being here. where's roger? here he is right there. i just met his beautiful daughter. it's great to see you. [applause] i want to thank jeffrey martin, ceo of sempra, and john and kevin, who helped just give me this tour. and boulder city is the first stop on a tour where i'll be talking about what we're calling an all-of-the-above energy strategy -- all of the above. a strategy that relies on
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producing more oil and gas here in america, but also more biofuels, more fuel-efficient cars, more wind power and, as you can see, a whole lot more solar power. this is the largest solar plant of its kind anywhere in the country. that's worth applauding. [applause] every year, you produce enough clean energy to power around 17,000 homes. and that's just the beginning. things are going so well that another plant is already under construction down the road that will eventually power another 45,000 homes. and a third plant is in development that will be, one day, able to power around 66,000 homes. now, this is an area that was hit hard by the recession -- and that's true of the whole state. you guys have been through a lot. but you haven't given up. you looked around at this flat,
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beautiful land and all this sun -- i just -- i asked the question, how many days of sun do you get a year -- 320 -- that's pretty good -- and decided that boulder city was the perfect place to generate solar power. in fact, as i was talking to the folks from sempra, they were explaining that this location is almost optimal for solar power generation, not only because it's flat, transmission lines were already here, the sun is traveling and there's no haze and it's absolutely clear. and so this is an extraordinary opportunity for the community. and when a business showed up with plans to build a new solar plant, hundreds of local workers got jobs because of it. thousands of families are now powering their homes with a cleaner, renewable source of energy. and this is not just happening
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here in boulder city -- it's happening in cities and towns all across america. according to experts, we've now got more than 5,600 solar companies nationwide, and many of them are small businesses. there are solar companies in every single state in the union. and today, we're producing enough solar energy to power 730,000 american homes. and because of the investments we've made as a nation, the use of renewable energies has actually doubled. so this is an industry on the rise. it's a source of energy that's becoming cheaper; we all know it's cleaner. and more and more businesses are starting to take notice. they're starting to look around for more places like boulder city to set up shop. when i took office i said, why not give these businesses some access to public lands that aren't otherwise being utilized? at the time, there wasn't a single solar project in place on public lands -- not
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one. today, thanks to some great work by ken salazar, we've got 16 solar projects approved. [applause] and when they're complete, we'll be generating enough energy to power 2 million homes. and that's progress. we're also enforcing our trade laws to make sure countries like china aren't giving their solar companies an unfair advantage over ours. [applause] and that's important because countries all around the world -- china, germany, you name it -- they understand the potential. they understand the fact that as countries all around the world become more interested in power generation -- their population is expanding, their income level is going up, they use more electricity -- and we're going to have to make sure that we're the guys who are selling them the technology and
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the know-how to make sure that they're getting the power that they need. in fact, just yesterday, our administration determined china wasn't playing fair when it came to solar power. and so we took the first step towards leveling the playing field, because my attitude is, when the playing field is level, then american workers and american businesses are always going to win. and that's why we've got to make sure that our laws are properly enforced. [applause] now, you'd think given this extraordinary site, given the fact that this is creating jobs, generating power, helping to keep our environment clean, making us more competitive globally, you'd think that everybody would be supportive of solar power. that's what you'd think. and yet, if some politicians had their way, there won't be
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any more public investment in solar energy. there won't be as many new jobs and new businesses. some of these folks want to dismiss the promise of solar power and wind power and fuel- efficient cars. in fact, they make jokes about it. one member of congress who shall remain unnamed called these jobs "phony" -- called them phony jobs. i mean, think about that mindset, that attitude that says because something is new, it must not be real. if these guys were around when columbus set sail, they'd be charter members of the flat earth society. [laughter] we were just talking about this -- that a lack of imagination, a belief that you can't do something in a new way -- that's not how we operate here in america. that's not who we are. that's not what we're about. these politicians need to come
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to boulder city and see what i'm seeing. [applause] they should talk to the people who are involved in this industry, who have benefitted from the jobs, who benefit from ancillary businesses that are related to what's going on right here. now, all of you know that when it comes to new technologies, the payoffs aren't always going to come right away. sometimes, you need a jumpstart to make it happen. that's been true of every innovation that we've ever had. and we know that some discoveries won't pan out. there's the vcr and the beta and the -- all that stuff. [laughter] and each successive generation recognizes that some technologies are going to work, some won't; some companies will fail, some companies will succeed. not every auto company succeeded in the early days of the auto industry.
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not every airplane manufacturer succeeded in the early days of the aviation. but we understood as americans that if we keep on this track, and we're at the cutting edge, then that ultimately will make our economy stronger and it will make the united states stronger. it will create jobs. it will create businesses. it will create opportunities for middle-class americans and folks who want to get into the middle class. that's who we are. that's what we're about. [applause] so i want everybody here to know that as long as i'm president, we will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. [applause] we're not going to walk away from places like boulder city. i'm not going to give up on the new to cede our position to china or germany or all the other competitors out there who are making massive investments in clean energy technology. i refuse to see us stand by and
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not make the same commitment. that's not what we do in america. it's not who we are as a country. one of the main reasons i ran for this office is i didn't think that our leaders were doing enough to tackle the big challenges, the hard challenges, to seize the big opportunities. and energy is one of the best examples. we have been talking about changing our energy policies for 30 years now. when i was the age of these guys right here, when i was 10, 11, right, in the '70s, and my grandparents were complaining about long gas lines, we were talking about how we were going to do things differently. thirty, 40 years, and we keep on doing the same stuff. we keep on punting. we keep on putting it off. for decades, washington kept kicking the can down the road. i don't want to do that anymore.
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i want to make sure when these guys are grown up that they're seeing solar panels all across the country. they're seeing american-made energy and american-made power. they're benefiting from a cleaner environment. they're seeing jobs and opportunity -- that's what i want to see. so as long as i'm president, we're going to develop every available source of energy. that is a promise that i'm making to you. [applause] and, yes, that means we make investments in stuff that is new, and we stop subsidizing stuff that's old. the current members of the flat earth society in congress -- [laughter) -- they would rather see us continue to provide $4 billion -- $4 billion -- in tax subsidies, tax giveaways, to the oil companies -- $4 billion to an industry that is making record profits.
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every time you fill up the pump, they're making money. they are doing just fine. they're not having any problems. and yet, on top of what we're paying at the pump, we're also going to give them $4 billion in subsidies that could be going into making sure there were investments in clean energy for the future? that doesn't make any sense. does that make any sense?
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to pursue. america uses 20 percent of the world's oil, and we've got 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. think about -- i wasn't a math major, but i just want -- [laughter) -- if you're using 20, you've only got 2, that means you got to bring in the rest from someplace else. why wouldn't we want to start finding alternatives that make us less reliant, less dependent on what's going on in the middle east? [applause] so we've got to develop new energy technologies, new energy sources. it's the only way forward. and here in boulder city, you know that better than anybody. you know the promise that lies ahead because this city has always been about the future. eight decades ago, in the midst of the great depression, the people of boulder city were busy working on another energy project you may have heard of. like today, it was a little bit
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ahead of its time; it was a little bit bigger than this solar plant -- it was a little louder, too. it was called the hoover dam. and at the time, it was the largest dam in the world. [applause] even today, it stands as a testimony to american ingenuity, american imagination, the power of the american spirit -- a testimony to the notion we can do anything. that was true back then; it is true today. you know the choice we need to make when it comes to energy. we've got to invest in a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of energy. we've got to stay ahead of the curve. we've got to make sure that we're taking some risks. we've got to make sure that we're making the investments that are necessary. we've got to support extraordinary entrepreneurs that are on the cutting-edge. that's who we are. that's what we do. and if we keep on doing it, nothing is going to stop us. thank you very much, everybody. god bless you.
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god bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] ♪ [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> federal reserve and chairman ben bernanke and treasury secretary timothy geithner said today that the european financial debt poses a threat to the u.s. economy, but that
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strains have eased in the past few months. after that, house debate on certain provisions of the health care law. later, remarks from president obama on his energy policy. and general john allen testified for a second time this week about u.s. military operations in afghanistan. tomorrow, we will talk about the situation in afghanistan and the u.s. withdrawal plan. watch live coverage at 9 akaka 30 a.m. eastern on c-span -- 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. >> think of the fdr memorial. it was not just three designs, it was three plus designs before they got to a final plan. i think we should not be afraid of looking at this issue because
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we are building something for the centuries. we want to get it right. >> with the eisenhower memorial opposed by his family, a house committee discusses the memorial to the president. watched sunday at 7:30 p.m. eastern and pacific. >> now, federal reserve chairman ben bernanke and federal reserve chairman -- treasury secretary jim geithner talked about the economy and the threat that the european debt crisis has on the economy. >> the statement is we exist for a fundamental principle.
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perce, americans have a right to know that the money washington has is well spent. americans deserve an effective government that works for them. our duty is to protect these rights. our responsibility is to hold government accountable to taxpayers. they have a right to know what they get from their government. most's hearing is important because in 2009, europe has been struggling to emerge from a sovereign debt crisis brought about by massive government spending and a weak economy. america could say the same. we have been struggling since 2009 to emerge from the debt crisis from the massive government debt. that is not the issue today. the issue is if the european union spends hundreds of
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billions of euros with imf assistance. -- to aid greece, ireland, and portugal, will america be drawn into the problem? can america afford one sovereign debt crisis such as greece? we have been watching the crisis. there is a certain assumption that eventually it will be solved. there is an assumption that we know what we are doing and that it will be solved. clearly, at this hearing builds on the good work of patrick henry and is asking the greater question. -- patrick mchenry is asking the greater question. what if we go beyond greece? there are other means of the
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problem is manageable. our witnesses are the two most important individuals. -- at the center of this. our fed chairman -- they have a good understanding of the capabilities and ultimately what he can do it if you go wrong. secretary geithner has been a loyal servant and has been intimately involved in matters in europe. our primary question will be on what u.s. exposure to the u.s., what impact to taxpayers it could be. we will try not to look to the past but to the future. let's understand that while we
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have a budget deficits, our debt is 100 term of gdp. -- 100% of gdp. we are still remembering the good in the very bad of tarp. we are remembering the individuals are involved in what it would be spent for. none came to pass. the secretary geithner does not anticipate needing a bailout. our obligation is to anticipate and to plan. the questions will be what is plan b. -- if what you are managing is not manageable.
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with that, i like to recognize the member for his opening statements. >> i thank you for your service in our country. i thank you on behalf of the committee. this is a very important issue. european officials have taken actions to reestablish the ability in a eurozone. -- financial stability in the eurozone. american officials have helped the consultations. no one is declaring mission accomplished with the signs of improvement are hard to miss. some in the majority see the crisis as an opportunity for measuresausterity
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here at home. the house republicans released a budget proposal of $5.30 trillion over the next 10 years. its will shift costs to seniors. the majority will seek for greece's financial troubles. -- to draw parallels between greece's financial troubles and those in the u.s. the united states should cut taxes to avoid these things. do not believe it. while strong medicine is needed, who should be taking the hit? it is the banks that caused the financial crisis. what we have learned is that austerity measures imposed have very real negative consequences for hard-working people what they leave the economic elite unscathed. e republicans believe we
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should have deep austerity measures at home. secretary geithner warned against this. you said this. "we need to stay intensely focused on strengthening our economy in the short term. we cannot share cut our way to growth." house republicans have viewed this. different problems require different solutions. economists agree that the housing bubble and risky investment grade by wall street or the forces of our economic collapse. housing is ground zero. the economy's problems are high employment and jobs. is settlement's sad truth
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that millions of borrowers will not get the relief they need. regulators will not allow them to participate in the settlement. much of this will be in the form of printable reduction. -- principal reductions. we want to ensure our economy at home is strong enough. we must end of the housing crisis here at home. we must have principal reduction as one tool. fhfa shows that -- the un data shows the principal reductions
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would save taxpayers billions of dollars. it is my hope that we examined the euro crisis in keep in mind what should be our opening goal. i ask consent to enter this into the record. -- the march 20 "washington post" article into record. >> this addresses this issue. >> we can include it as extraneous material. >> thank you. >> you are welcome. when i go to the chairman of the subcommittee for his meeting.
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-- for his opening statement. >> thank you for calling this meeting today. americans watched this deteriorates. it resulted in millions of job losses. several banks are propping up institutions. our european friends fight to fend off a wave of turmoil. in december, my subcommittee invited officials from the federal reserve and what actions they would consider in reaction to it and what measures remain. the federal reserve had just authorized liquidity swap lines. -- to buy time for a political
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solution in europe. the headlines read to the tune of billions and trillions. in december, they held an auction to provide banks with over 500 million euros. it an event was acquired in greece. -- a credit event was declared in greece. as the book ahead, european story is far from over. they're trying to substantiate their record effort. financial markets are dependent on central banks to -- they're using their balance sheets to rescue the global
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economy. the economic storm facing europe has this. we are here to address this incredible issue. i am interested to hear how our foremost efforts of you this. -- experts view the eurozone crisis, the impact it can have on the u.s. economy. with that, of a bike to yield the balance of my time. >> i thank the gentleman for yielding. the chairman said that he wanted to find out if the united states possibly could be drawn into the euro crisis. i have been to europe. i been all over the place. i am convinced we are already drawn in. i would like to find out how deeply we are drawn in and out simple the problem could be. -- how severe the problem could
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be. i want to find out if we are bailing out the europeans. in addition to us printing money, the european central bank is over there as well. they are having their money supply. my colleague talked about the money swaps. let me first say that exposure is 641 million of dollars. -- our exposure is $641 billion. for france and germany is $1.20 trillion. regarding currency swaps, we
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have $109 billion outstanding. if there is a devaluation fo of the euro, what does this do to our exposure? how much will that cost the united states? timothy geithner has dismissed reports that we might participate in a special european aid fund. i would like to know that to be true in the future. increased our contribution to the imf which is currently 17% of the overall budget. they will need another $500 billion. how much exposure are refacing right now attacks come at exposure are we likely to have added? will be underwriting the crisis tax thank you.
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>> i think the said committee chairman. the bill goes to the ranking member of the subcommittee, mr. quigley for five minutes. >> thank you. i am honored to be the ranking member the european debt crisis met this. in 2010, our forces totaled 430. the global market is not what it was 10 years ago or five years ago. there can be no question a help the european economy is in the best interests of the united states.
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i am encouraged by secretary geithner. i'm encouraged by the efforts by our leaders. beaders created a compact under 25 days agree to new rules. -- european leaders created a compact under which 25 nation states agreed to new rules. kris' recently restructured debt. the european central bank is also purchasing bonds and providing loans. these actions have lessened the market here at home. the eurozone has a long and challenging road ahead. greece, italy, and others --
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some have likened our economy to greece. the u.s., like greece, controls its own destiny. we need a balanced approach to get our own fiscal house in order. we have to ensure that reducing the deficit we do not a the mission of government matters. they made harder to fill this mission. we cannot allow politics to get in the way of what is right. we need to take a balanced approach to measures. now is not the time to pull the rug out from under them. a long-term deficit reduction plan is not compatible with economic growth. -- incompatible with economic growth. we cannot allow politics to
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stand in the way of the foreclosure crisis. strengthening our economy must be the number one priority. we cannot forget about the essential links between our economy and europe's. it either afford to hearing the testimony. thank you. i yield back. >> before i introduce the witnesses, i want to caution the committee it is our policy when i invite guests to tell them what the committee is about and expect they will have answers for our questions. not just answers irrelevant to our questions. at the same time, they have an expectation that today's hearing is primarily a
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technically been exclusively about the european debt crisis and how am i effect america. although there is a ripple effect that he may want to ask broader questions, if you ask questions that are not germane to the subject to which we invited our guests, it is their option to say whether they were prepared or not prepared. the only ask them here under that fairly narrow subject. you are very good beyond that. i will not be surprised if you choose to answer questions. we do not intend to have the ask questions and expect you to answer them. with that, we submit to our committee rules.
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>> please raise your right hand. do you solemnly swear that this is the truth, and the whole truth and nothing but the truth? all witnesses answered in the affirmative. please take your seat. >> a little bit like yesterday, we've of like you to stay as close to five minutes as possible. as we would like you to know that you're opening statements are placed in the record. i'm not sure we did a coin toss. >> thank you. thank you for giving me a chance to talk about the implications. we have an enormous respect for your efforts to avoid the crisis. our economy is getting stronger. with a lot of the challenges are here. unemployment is still very high.
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housing markets are very weak. we still have a long way to go to repair the damage. risks around iran are adding to pressure. this accounts for about 18% of global g.d.p.. it is a major source of sourcing. a larger portion our for our trading partners. the financial markets damage confidence been slow the momentum of recovery here in the united states of the past few months, there are active
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encouragement support. they have put in place a comprehensive strategy. first involves economic reforms, a tough reforms. they can improve the competitiveness. the second includes reforms. they have stronger disciplines. they can limit the future deficits and debt as a share of gdp. it involves a coordinated effort.
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the european financial system and involves a fire wall of a fund's to provide this to the government. they can help retain this. the efforts have helped calm financial assistance to reduce provincial tensions. -- the efforts have helped calm financial tensions. we're going to have to carefully calibrate financial support and fiscal consolidation. these will not work with the support that enables the government to borrow. if every time economic growth
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comes in weaker than expected, governments are forced to say this. the most important unfinished business of this broader financial strategy in europe, met leaders are reviewing options for how to expand at the combined capacity of the two funds so they can make clear targets to make resources more available. the imf has played an important role in europe. there are financial support for those in greece, ireland, and portugal. it is in the interest of the united states to continue. the resources cannot substitute
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for the incredible european firewall. this has played a major role in every financial crisis. any resources with interest that has gone awry is backed by financial safeguards. they have more than 60 years of experience. the crisis in europe has take some of the wind out of the recovery. we hope they will build on these efforts in the coming weeks. there is a stronger financial firewall. we will continue to work closely with them.
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>> thank you. >> thank you. thank you for inviting me. for two years, they have this on global financial markets. there are concerns of fiscal sustainability. pessimism about the economic situations can undermine confidence. this is an impact on the u.s. economy. we have seen those underperform. financial strains have been evident during times or it is most turbulence. we saw a global retreat from riskier assets.
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it can increase the cost of corporate heads. we have seen our own financial institutions focus on your. we have seen some improvements in recent months. it has helped improve its own financial markets. several actions have contributed. bacon undertaker financing operations that have helped the funding. banks have increased their holdings of sovereign debt. secondly, the euro leaders have been taking steps to on a more sustainable fiscal path. the sovereign debt best mcginley reduced. did they are intensifying their efforts.
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the key u.s. and imf have pledged considerable funds as part of the package. the economy remains in a deep recession. there has been the approval of the new fiscal compaq treaty. it isn't important step toward solving fundamental tension. although progress has been made in more needs to be done, there is an expansion of fire walls regarding contagion and sovereign debt markets. there are continued efforts to continue the growth. the federal reserve has been following these closely.
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policymakers are focusing on this from having any adverse once contribute. it they can support the flow of credit. news of are reestablished lines was limited. in late november we agreed to the central banks of canada and switzerland to extend this period the lower cost of the ecb have a loved and to reduce the cost.
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they provide them. this has had a beneficial impact i would add the swaps are very safe. they present no exchange rate. each is trying has a short maturity. their currencies for what is here. the fed is working with other agencies to monitor our financial institutions.
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the money markets have avoided this. our assessment are broadly head- in the other direction. these are broadly dispersed. although they have limited exposure, their exposure to european banks are much more material. these funds remain structurally it vulnerable. the risk of contagion does give concern. the u.s. financial sector would have to content with an array of broader markets and equity prices.
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most recently, at the fed released the results of our comprehensive capital analysis. it is a stress tests. we imposed a hypothetical scenario. it involved a deep recession of the united states. there is a decline and activity abroad. this was designed to capture but exposures for the financial stresses that my arrive. it shows is it if they get majority continue to make expectations. the recent reduction remains difficult.
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it is critical that leaders follow the policies to insure this. i'm sure they understand the challenges they face. they take the necessary steps to address the issues. they work with our financial institutions in counterparts and are ready to use the tools at our disposal. >> thank you. in the stress tests, i assume the fed system would work. is that correct? it is all of the $1.40 trillion. we checked to make sure we are comfortable with the counterparties.
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that means degraded yourself. correct? >> we looked at the positions of the banks. we verified they are largely hedge against sovereign defaults in europe first. we assured ourselves to have the strongest institutions. aig was not properly regulated. it was done appropriately -- it was not appropriately hedged. >> you are comfortable saying there are no i e -- aigs hiding in the woods?
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>> they have covered all the largest bank holding companies. we looked at other large banks. within that range, we do not see any similar problem. >> thank you. >> one of the most important questions is to ask about earlier times. the eurozone has an economy that is nominally our size. it has a euro conversion of about $14 trillion. some countries have positives. it is clear for the american people to say the same size is similar. if this is the case, why have are they not being treated much more likely treat our states
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that what is the justification for the american people for the similar wealth to ours, sang which part of the united states put in? >> we have a fiscal union as well as monetary union. the reason we do not see the same kind of stresses is that from the federal government -- >> from the taxpayer, they are similar to us in the positive side.
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human beings move freely within the eurozone. money moves freely. they act as a protective trade partner. they treat each other in a way they do not treat us. we do not enjoy the advantages of selling into the arizona that the eurozone enjoys. -- into the eurozone that the eurozone and joyce. we are doing it in our own self interest. why isn't the eurozone of being asked to step up much more? why does it come to the
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american people when they have the same wherewithal? when they have a problem with a rogue nation, they turn to the imf. >> that is a good question. our position has been that europe needs to step up and do more. we've asked them to move in the same direction as the united states. >> as you said, we have never lost any to the imf. we have been fully repaid it has been a good bet overall. the american people are wondering what i ask. doesn't it strengthen your hand when me clear that the american people are saying "no, you will have to convince us to go against the the communities."
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>> we have a very similar view. europe is a very rich continent. you are right to point out, they do not have the mechanisms that we do in the united states. these are very powerful. the imf is an institution where members have a right to request assistance. our judgement has been in the
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intersted in the u.s. and better for us for the imf to play a modest role alongside the european authorities going forward. they have asked the imf to take more of the burden. we said that is not appropriate. they are a rich country. let's make sure people understand the world needs to see europe demonstrate that they are prepared to do what it takes to make this work. we can help with support. we are not going to do that in a way to put the u.s. taxpayer at risk. >> thank you. >> thank you very much. europe has a housing crisis.
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>> parts of europe does. >> you agree that housing has to be addressed? >> i do think our economy is still suffering from a lot of collateral damage. you see that in housing. our judgement is that we should do everything we can to help repair that damage. to help the economy over time.
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>> it would be the cost of more than $5 trillion in medicare that we know of. chairman bernanke and i have talked about the same number of times. you gave a speech in which you said principal reductions may be an effective means of avoiding foreclosure. is that right? >> sometimes it can be effective. >> you also agree that principle reduction can be one that is well designed. is that right? >> yes. you have private banks on their own offering this to their borrowers. the limited number of countries are taking somewhat different approaches. it is different because of the nature of the problems.
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cannot see this across the housing front yet. they have not been aggressive as we were in trying to move earlier. >> they tow their bottom line. they want to keep people paying lower mortgages and said the foreclosures. this helps the homeowners and shareholders. the only official who does not view that appears to be [unintelligible] his opposition is trange because his own data shows principal reduction would save billions of dollars and that principle reduction would help the homeowners.
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based on his own data, he should be doing printable reductions now. -- principal reductions now. can you tell us why treasury is doing that? why are these incentives important? >> under the law, treasury does not have any authority to tell the fha to undertake specific activities. under the mandate, it have to make sure the things they are doing are in the interest and taxing region of maximizing overall returns to the taxpayer. principal reduction is part of the strategy to limit the losses.
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we have been having discussions with them about how to narrow the differences. i think it would be better for me to come back and talk more about it separately. we could get a better sense of where we come out. >> he said the minister of the costs could be high for i.t. systems. he is made that argument to you.
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>> he is in the process of looking again at those questions. >> your response was to "look further?" >> yes. we want to make sure they're doing things consistent with their obligations. making sure they're doing things that will limit the losses. >> let me ask about the stakes here. >> mr. demarco controls all of the loans guaranteed by fannie mae and freddie mac. how many can be affected by his decision? >> not millions. it is a little hard to tell. i know it is not part of the popular wisdom. but there are more conservative and more careful in their underwriting standards. so the quality of their loans are better than the broader market in this context. again, our job is to make sure we are doing a reading weekend to reach as many people as we can. whether this is a good strong case on the merits, not just on the taxpayer.
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>> thank you. the secretary will also send you a copy of the field during intermission from brooklyn which actually has said and other representatives testimony to the points to your brief before you come back to the ranking member. with that, we go to the chairman of the full committee emeritus for five minutes. >> is that what you call me? >> annmarie this is a forever term. -- emeritus is a forever term. >> according to crs, the exposure that the united states has in portugal as of last year is $54 billion. ireland is 111 billion current ileus $103 billion. spain $244 billion. germany $635 billion.
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and france $685 billion. for a total of $2.08 trillion. i wonder what will happen if the euro stars to devalue and how it will affect the united states ability to collect on these indebtedness we're having with here. my first question is -- and i will combine some of these questions so you have more time to answer -- we are printing money and have been printing one many -- printing money with qe1 and qe2. is there a long term cost? the federal reserve has created this foreign currency spot magnuson and it has outstanding loans -- spot outstanding
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mechanism and it has loans that is a considerable amount of money. i would like to ask what happens, if you do have some defaulting over there and they cannot repay those loans -- and other european central bank is printing money right now -- that will cause some kind of inflationary pressures as well -- what will that do to the indebtedness we have indexed the foreign-currency swaps take your money and exchange is it for euros. i would like to have the answer to that. and it appears as though we're providing daughters that are
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loaned and swap in europe and then are used to buy european bank bonds and then sold to commercial banks. if that is processed, it looks like we're cooking the books to make this all legitimate. finally, i have been to a number of these countries. the unrest is very apparent. some of our european neighbors have not passed austerity measures. and even when they had passed some of these reforms, you still have an awful lot of dissension in the country. they have had changes in those governments. i think there're are still big questions over whether greece can survive in maybe italy, spain, portugal, and so forth. so to what extent are we exposed if this so-called european recovery does not take place? can you give us the figures for at least roughly the figures, both directly and indirectly, as far as the exposure is concerned? and do your numbers include
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foreign currency swaps with assistance from the fedele reserve or the treasury? i know that is a lot, but, if you can run to that, i would appreciate. >> on the swaps, use of the maxim was $109 billion. it is down to $65 billion because it has been constructive and beneficial to the united states. if the euro the values or depreciate, it has no effect whatever on the value of our liability because we get paid back in dollars. so the european takes any foreign exchange risk. if the bank they lend the money to, if it does not pay, we still get paid because the ecb takes all of the credit risk. we're not taking any credit risk. we're not taking any foreign- exchange risk. the risk of losing the money is a very low and the benefits are quite significant. on exposure, you mentioned some numbers. exposure clear who's you're talking about.
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our banking system is exposed to europe. it is a major trading partner. it is exactly what we tried to do in our stress test scenario that we recently released results for last week. a sharp decline in activity in the united states, major financial stress, including 50% drop in stock prices -- all of this is an intent to measure our banking system for a new crisis in europe. of course, there would be significant losses. but what we found was that all of the banks essentially were able to meet the reasonable level of credit -- i'm sorry, the reasonable level of capital, even following the loss associated with such an event. >> thank you, mr. sherman. >> mr. quigley. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i guess the academic question is the balance that i talked about in my opening statement about austerity measures and how they impact recovery, your view in
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general on that issue and how the european plan seems to strike that balance and how effectively it might do that -- either or both of you, please. >> i think the answer to your question depends on which country you're talking about. there are countries like greece, ireland and portugal which are currently under european union, eurozone, and imf support appeared which have essentially no alternative but to your the can to reduce their fiscal deficit. there have been trying to do that. but slowing growth has made it more difficult.
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more broadly, there are some countries that have more distant space. they might consider a balanced approach, which leaves some flexibility in the short term to do with the fact that europe is slowing. their economy is slowing. at the same time, addressing longer-term issues in a comprehensive long-term plan, for example, they're trying to do that through their fiscal compact. it is an approach that the united states might take, which is a comprehensive plan that has both a short-term and long- term component to it. >> the chairman said it exactly right. if you distinguish the companies -- the countries that lost the
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ability to garner support still have that capacity. in general, for the country's not in this stage of crisis, you want there to be in medium-term plan to gradually phase in the reductions of the deficit yet to come. and you want that to be balanced by and complemented by the reforms that will improve the performance in the economy and make it easier to start a business and stuff like that. it is important to get the balance right. it could take a lot of financial support to make sure those reforms have time to work. you want to make sure they're phasing in gradually over time. and you want to avoid the risk that, again, every time growth disappoints and the short-term effects on the deficit will increase the deficit. you want it matched with immediate cuts and deficit appeared if you do that, you add to the challenges on growth. that is the balance that you want to have. >> how did they do? >> if you want to talk about the countries that are more acute like greece and italy and others, how do they strike this ballast? how optimistic are you? >> if we are so dependent on the recovery and perhaps we can learn from lessons there, did they go too far for these countries that are really hurting? >> i do not think you can consider that in greece and
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ireland. once you get to that point, there is no choice, no alternative available to them rather than to this mix of a very tough reforms across the border in other countries in europe, they have more time and space to bring a bit more care and balance to the path. greece and ireland and portugal are very small academies, leaving aggregate in that context -- even at it in that context. in the united states, we have a longer time of economic growth then the other countries in europe. they are able to shift some of the tension and some of the focus and europe to broader strategies that will make growth stronger across the continent. >> in your overall assessment, the chances for recovery -- why are they perhaps less optimistic or more optimistic about where europe faces versus the u.s.?
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>> the fundamental reality of the u.s. is that it will take a very long time for them to work that through. judge realistically, looking at the prospects ahead, even if europe is able to be successful in avoiding a catastrophic financial crisis and they have the means to do that, even if they're successful in avoiding that, then the risks are that europe is still growing on average at very weak levels. that will mean that growth in the united states is weaker than it otherwise would be. again, this process has a lot of risk in it. there is a -- it is very fragile that is why it is so important that they're doing everything they can, not just to restore some financial stability, to help lay foundations for stronger growth.
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that is why we have such a strong economic interest in helping them make that happen. >> thank you. >> a very good line of questioning. we go to mr. mcenry for 5 minutes. >> thank you both for your service to our government. you certainly have both served in some challenging times, not just in the last three years, but a long run as well. chairman bernanke, i want to ask about your legal authority, the fed's little 40. -- legal authority. so the fed establishes sovereign debt for the united states. does the fed have legal authority to purchase other country's sovereign debt? >> it does for the purposes of reserve holdings. they currently hold a small amount of debt of very high quality. i think it is france, germany, and japan. but we are not in beijing and purchasing debt of troubled countries. >> but that could be considered? >> we are not considering it appeared >> -- we are not considering it.
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congress made clear in earlier discussions, some decades ago when this issue came up, that the purpose of this authority was to maintain foreign exchange reserves. i don't think that it was the intent of congress that we get involved in sovereign debt issues. it is not our intent to do so. >> beyond that, does the fed accept as collateral foreign debt, sovereign debt from foreign countries? >> some of the debt we simply own as part of our foreign exchange reserves. >> beyond that pierre >> in other cases, we have short-term resources agreements and other arrangements where we do take collateral for a short time. again, we're making sure that we have sufficient to make sure that we're comfortable with the safety of those short-term arrangements.
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>> secretary geithner, to have a few questions about the international monetary fund. within treasury, you have a designee who serves on the 24- member executive committee of the imf. in terms of the actions taken with the recent imf loans to greece, were you involved in the process? was that a discussion you were engaged in? >> of course. we pay a lot of attention to any decision, any meaningful decision the imf makes in the context. >> looking at that, is the treasury -- i know you have mentioned this before, but i want to raise the issue again. are you considering additional contributions to the special imf european bill a fund? >> no, we are not. the imf already has $400
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billion of available resources it can use if necessary to help support the needs of its members. europe, of course, has very substantial financial capacity to put behind their strategy to resolve this crisis. therefore, we do not see the case for coming to congress and asking for more authority in this context. >> is the treasury considering being involved in imf nab, the arrangement -- >> we are in that. congress has participated in them. so, yes, when the imf draws on the new arrangements to borrow, just like a supplemental pool of resources, then, yes, the imf draws on the quarter resources. we do participate in those drawings. we have 60 years of experience with how the imf puts itself in that context.
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the record supports our judgment that there is very substantial strong financial safeguards that protect the interests of the u.s. taxpayers in that context. >> under god for it -- under dod-frank, there are a number of provisions dealing with the imf. our designee engages in a decision with the imf to loan money with a country that has a greater than 100% debt to gdp ratio. the understanding of what the credit risk is and how this decision was made. is that being done? >> of course. we have a rich history and a long history of the votes we can cast in that institution. we will meet that. >> --
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>> the way that provision is structured, in some cases where the existing level of debt in the country is high, there is a higher burden on all of us to make sure that the reforms that come with this assistance give us a reasonable prospect that it will be improving the path for sustainability. >> i look for to the report. >> thank you appeared to clarify for the record, i heard correctly, the imf does not maintain a whole pile of money. they maintain the ability to draw by the members based on an allocation. so the american people understand, you're not coming to was for new money, but there will be distributions at times within the current limit that just occur as a result, a trigger.
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the fact is they will be taking your money. is that correct? >> that is exactly right. the way the law of the land is structured, we cannot lend money to the imf without the authorization of the congress of the united states. congress authorizes the scale of the commitments we can make members ask the imf for resources and they have to meet conditions and then they can draw on those resources. then we provide a part of those resources. again, the exposure we take is backed by not just a substantial amount of imf gold, but other safeguards. >> thank you. the gentleman from virginia. >> thank you. welcome to both of our guests this morning. mr. geithner, you testified that ireland and portugal ran a large surpluses but they were victims of the crisis contagion. you also noticed that spain reduced its structural deficit through austerity measures. do you believe that there is a lesson that's -- some lesson in that? i would think that to have this
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kind of crisis, it would be deeply in the whole of debt. how does that work? >> you are right. i think the popular perception is that the crisis in europe is overwhelmingly the result of dust -- a tickets of fiscal profligacy. that is not quite right. it was certainly true increase where greece -- it was certainly true in greece. >> i will come back to greece. >> there are other countries where you saw a rise in private borrowing in the banking system by the private sector. a damaging loss in the relative competitiveness of their businesses relative to germany in that context. when the crisis hit and confidence eroded, their fiscal positions did deteriorate dramatically, as always happens
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in that context. but the fundamental cause of the crisis was not a long time of extreme fiscal profligacy. >> mr. bernanke, one of the medicines' recommended here, obviously, is draconian fiscal austerity measures. we had a new budget out yesterday that certainly subscribe to that philosophy. many european countries actually adopted that policy in terms of austerity measures. did those economies grow faster or slower than the united states since 2009? >> the economies of europe, with the exception of your to some extent, have grown significantly slower than the united states during this time, probably for the reasons you said. there crisis was more acute than ours. there in earlier stages. they reacted more tentatively than we did in the united states.
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for the reason, the scale of the challenges they face has been weaker. the context is that you do want to be careful to try to balance the imperatives of restoring fiscal sustainability with the recognition that long-term fiscal sustainability. >> one of the comparisons that is often cited by some even here in this body is that the united states does not busy is not careful given its debt posture and its lack of discipline will look alarmingly like greece. i personally find the comparison invidious. upon any examination, given the fact -- i refer to michael lewis's book on the european crisis, it is shocking what happened in greece. they did not have macroeconomic data. they engage in outright
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deception when eu officials came to examine the books. they did not have any central control over their own economy at all, unlike the united states. but i would like each of you to comment on that comparison. is the u.s. headed toward the road of greece? >> it is certainly true that the situations are not directly comparable. first, increase's debt introductory -- dead tree to tree looks worse than ours or that of other industrial economies. -- debt trajectory looks worse than ours or that of other industrial economies. their short-term issues are not -- cannot be demille ameliorated by monetary policy since their part of the eurozone -- cannot be immediately ameliorated by monetary policy since they are part of the eurozone.
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they need to find a strategy that will credibly unconvincingly put us on a path of long-term sustainability. >> thank you. >> no basis for comparisons with greece. we can recognize that our fiscal position, long term fiscal position, we are in a much stronger position than the economy as a whole. it is probably because our economy would grow faster than europe's overtime. it is probably because we are a younger country. it is probably because the commitments we have made to health care and social security, even though unsustainable, are much more standing than the ones in europe as a whole.
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we are in a fundamentally different position and more comfortable position. of course, in the united states as well, we have made a stable -- and sustainable commitments. we have a little bit more time and substantially more room for maneuvering how we address those. it is very important, as we address them, we need to address them and not put them off indefinitely. we need to do those things to help the economy to grow. >> the gentleman from south carolina. >> mr. chairman, is there a connectivity between the cost of energy and economic recovery? >> yes, there is, especially when there is a supply side element. higher energy prices create at least short-term inflation.
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that act as a tax and reduce consumption spending and that is a drag on the economy. yes, higher oil prices and higher energy prices are a concern. >> i think the price per gallon in europe is a double if not more what it is in the united states. >> yes, because of much higher taxes. >> can you imagine any scenario under which someone would advocate boosting our price per gallon to european levels? >> there are a lot of policy issues related to that. >> i need for economic reasons, not environmental. economic. >> the question is whether or not there are other goals that are served -- environmental goals, congestion goals, and
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the like pierre >> -- and the like. i think higher energy prices would slow growth in the long run. >> what would you use to describe if are price per gallon suddenly doubled? >> that would have a catastrophic -- >> i would not say that would have a catastrophic event, but it would have an effect on consumer confidence and boost of inflation. >> what is our debt as a percentage gdp curly? >> i can give you the precise numbers in writing. as we -- as a percentage of gdp currently? >> as i give the person -- i cannot give you the precise numbers, unless in writing. our debt to gdp ratio is somewhere between 60% and 70% of gdp today.
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>> there has been one request in the increase of the debt ceiling. i understand there is another one coming. i do not know whether it will come before the first tuesday in november or after the first tuesday in november. i will not hold due to the number. you do not have to go research it. you're smart enough. i have seen you testify enough. if this were the last debt ceiling you could ask for, the final one, and you had to make it large enough for all current and future obligations, what with the request need to be? >> i do not know how to answer that question. it makes no sense for the country and congress controls how much we can borrow every year.
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we have no control to spend beyond what congress authorizes. to put -- for congress to put its members every six months on a very difficult vote on whether they should continue to authorize us to do things they have already authorized to do. i do not know how to add to that question. you're talking about the future. >> the lot -- the last debt ceiling increase was for how long and half for how much? >> under the deal we reached last august, we set up a mechanism where congress imposed on itself three votes over a 15- month period. >> what will be the amount of the increase in november or december?
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>> it depends. congress makes destroyers. congress has to make the choice on, the 1 -- congress makes this choice. congress makes the choice on -- >> you just used the word unsustainable. if we had one more chance to borrow all the money that we need, assuming current variables, hell big with that number have to be? >> i do not know how to answer that. let me try it a little differently. you have to decide as a member of congress, you want to give congress when you want to vote on it again. again, the debt limit does not decide how much we can borrow. you decide how much we can bar because every year you have -- >> how much debt would we need to meet current and future obligations assuming the status quo indefinitely? >> that i can be happy to give you in writing. >> how about a round number? >> no idea. if congress authorized no additional increase in spending or revenues forever, how much we have to bar? i can do the math, but -- >> $20 trillion? >> i can do it in my head. >> $50 trillion? [laughter] i have seen you testify before.
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you are a very smart. would it be a lot? >> it would be a lot. >> interesting transition. >> thank you. every country and every culture, of course, is very different and it is very risky to go looking at different cultures. i do want to ask you about germany. there are some in the congress to believe that the way out of our present recession and dilemma is to impose draconian cuts repeatedly. even forsake the budget deal
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which was very difficult to reach. it was reached at a huge south africa -- a huge sacrifice, the loss of our aaa rating. i look to europe. this was a worldwide recession. and i look at the differences among those various countries. the british seem to have adopted something of that approach, the approach to emphasize retrenchment overgrowth. i am intrigued by germany. everybody's favorite example of the strongest economy in europe, perhaps in the world today. i do not understand and i believe we need to come to grips with the theory that they have embraced during this recession. they're one of the few countries in europe not to cut the budget deficit. i take it was not terribly out of control. i do not know.
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in fact, they added to their deficit, certainly in 2009 and 2010. one of the few countries in europe to do so. i am truly intrigued by country that did not abandon its working-class, did not abandon its social net, has a national policy that has maintained unemployment low. i know they have some things that are culturally oriented toward work sharing and the rest. they also subsidize employers to keep people on the jobs. but i believe we have to come to grips why this country continues with a country that we identify so closely. we need to come to grips with
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their model and how they do it. i have to ask you how has germany maintained itself and continue to grow -- and continued to grow without cutting its deficit. >> let me take a first stab at that. germany, when they had ratification, there were significant problems with the competitiveness and efficiency of their industries trying to interview the two parts of germany together and they made a very sustained and successful effort to increase the sustainability and productivity and competitiveness of their industry, which is to their credit. in addition, as part of the eurozone, they have benefited quite a bit from that arrangement. first because they have a sort of an export market that they have easy access to.
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secondly, because the bureau, which is an average of the -- a reflexive average of the strength of the different parts of the eurozone, it is probably weaker than a torchmark would be. -- weaker than a door to mark would be -- weaker than a deutsche mark would be. they also have work sharing policies.
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remarks. the speaker pro tempore: without objection. mr. nugent: madam speaker, i rise today in support of this rule, house relution in front of you. house resolution provides a structured rule so that the house may consider h.r. 5, the health efficient accessible low cost timely health care act of 11. the rule provides for six hours of debate on this vital issue. six hours, madam speaker. in my opinion the health acts one of the most impetive piece of legislation to come to the house, to the floor of the house in the 112th congress thus far.
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the bill repeals a particularly egregious part of government takeover of health care. the independent payment advisory board, or ipab. in case you are aware, ipab is the 15-member panel created by obamacare created to reign in cos. they are un-elected bureaucrats, 15 of them, the majority are not doctors and the decision also have the force of law and go into effect automatically without the consent of congress. we'll get back to ipab in a moment. h.r. 5 also implements long needed medical malpractice tort reform. i hear all the time we need to bring down the cost of health care. my colleagues on the other side of the aisle cla that government takeover of health care would do just that, reduce the cost of health care. in fact, president obama claimed it would lower premiums by $2,5 per family per year.
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we know that's just not the case. since inauguration day in 2009, premiums have risen by $2,213, almost the same amount the president promised he was going to save us. the annual keyser foundation survey of employer provided insurance from the kverage family premiums totaled $12,860 in 2008, and are now $15,073 in 2011. moreover, c.b.o., congressional budget office, projects the law's new benefit mandates will force premiums to rise on top of that $15,000 by $2,100 per year per family. malpractice reform on the other hand will most definily reduce the cost of health care. we have seen it what defensive medicine is. cat scans ordered, anti-biotics
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prescribed, blood tests conducted not because the doctor thought they were necessary, but because he or she was scared of -- if they didn't order them they would be sued for not prescribing them. department of health and human services study said the defensive medicine crossed $70 billion to $126 billion a yr. that's billion. c.b.o. estimates that a little more moderate stance putting a number around $54 billion. let me tell you, $54 billion, $70 billion, $126 billion that's a lot of money. in anybody's terms. i have heard from a lot of folks opposing the legislation because it defies states' rights. i have to say i'm particularly surprised to hear so many of my colleagues on the other side making this argument. i'm happy to see they have come to recognize the importance of state rights and state sovereignty.
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i hope that means we can count on them for their support and efforts moving forward to take federal power away from washington, d.c., and return that powerack to e states where it belongs. where our founding fathers envisioned that to be. i want to make -- take a moment to make it clear to my colleagues on both sides of the aisle why this bill, h.r. 5, does not, i repeat, dot not -- does not trample on the rights of our states. in the moderna, congress has enacd many tort reform statutes to supersede contrary state laws, including recent federal tort reform protecting vital domestic firearms industry. in judicial precedence have led litt doubt about its constitutionality. even president reagan who is unabashed champion for the states established a special task force to study the need for tort reform that concluded the federal government should
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address tort reform across the board. folks are claiming the 10th amendment that states' rights aren't looking at the entirety of h.r. 5. he they are looking at all the provision that is make it clear at the caps created in this bill only applies to states that don't already have their own caps. these provisions, flexy cap they are called, recognize that any state amount on caps takes precedent to this piece of legislation. that means if a state has $1 billion cap, good for them. let them keep it. it also means if a state has $100,000 cap, in can keep it -- they can keep it, too. if a state decides to pass a law and establish a cap on their own, to change their existing cap, they should go ahead and do it because h.r. 5 isn't going to do anything to stop them from ing that. h.r. 5 clearly, clearly ensures
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that the states' right to set their caps where they want them and when they want them. understand trial lawyers won't like the federal limit, an luckily i really worry about the american people as a whole not just what ial lawyers have to say. i know this may be speculation, but i think that special interest groups and perhaps some of the new converts to the 10th amendment are hiding behind the states' rights argument because, in fact, they just don't want to see their own profits go down. but i fear that the state rights discussion is a red herring that only gets us off the most important ise, the issue that i started off with, the independent payment advisory board. plain and simple, ipab is going to cut health care tt our nation's seniors can recve. medicare rationing board which is what this is, will decide the value of medical services impose price controls that will slash
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senior access to doctors and other health care providers. we see this happening already. the center for medicare and medicaid savings actually confirm that large reductions in medicare payment rates would likely have serious, serious implications for beneficiary access to care. utilization, intensity, and the quality of thacare. and as president obama's appointee as the medicare administrator said, the decision is not whether or not we will ration care, the decision is whether we will ration with our eyes open. h.r. 5 takes that choice away from the administrator, from ipab, from president obama. h.r. sets forth a new way forward. h.r. 5 sets forth a new way forward. a way that says we don't need washington bureaucrats who
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haven't even practiced medicine telling us what's best for us. we need to sit down with our doctors and come up with individual treatment plans. a way that actually does something about health care costs by removing frivolous lawsuits from the equation. a way forward that means state rights are still protected while also protecting seniors' rights to the best health care options available. with that, madam speaker, while i support this rule and why i support the underlying legislation, and that's why i encourage all my colleagues to do the same. with that i reserve the balance of my time. . the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida reserves the balance of his time. for at purpose does the gentleman from florida -- mr. hastings: thank you very much, madam speaker. i yield myself as much time as i may consume. i rise in opposition to h.r. 5 and this bill overlooks the rights of injured patients.
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but it's also an attempt by the house republican leadership to dismantle the affordable care act. i will remind my friend from florida that there is no example that allows for any of us to have it both ways. is matter violates the constitution and clearly not just those that argue the 10th amendment from a conservative or liberal perspective, it is all of us that feel very strongly that this measure ewe suches the -- ewe certains the power of states -- usurps of power of states. i'm fond of saying what a constitution law professor at georgetown said, that people
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seem to be fair weather federalists and they abandon federalism whenever it is inconvenient to someone's policy preferences. h.r. 5 combines two completely unrelated measures. the first one is the reform of our nation's medical malpractice system. the second one is the repeal of the independent payment advisory board which was established by the affordable care act. please don't get me wrong, i'm fully aware of the challenges inherent to our medical liability system. the excessive cost of malpractice insuranc faced by physicians seriously impairs our nation's health care system by encouraging the practice of defensive medicine. this contributes to higher
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health care costs for both doctors and patients, as well as diminished access to care for consumers. but while i agree that our medical liability system needs to be changed -- changed, i do not believe that it should be at the expense of the fundamental rights of patients including their ability to seek compensation for wrongful injuries. indeed this bill imposes an arbitrary and unfair cap on noneconomic damages that injured patients can receive. such limitations will extinguish our rights and have a devastating consequence for individuals harmed by physicians and medical products. in addition, this bill seriously encroaches on the 10th amendment of the constitution by preempting state laws and i'm not buying the confusion offered
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in the rules comttee yesterday, nor by my good friend from florida. i know preems when i see it -- preemption when i see it, i know the 10th amendment and i know people have stood for the 10th amendment and i need not remind my colleague that countless republicans have made statements regarding this particular matter not fitting within the framework of the 10th amendment's commerce provisions. my republican colleagues like to talk about frivolous lawsuits and unreasonably large jury awards. but i ask the question of the maker of this particular provision on what is his leg worth? it's easy for us on the republican or democratic side, liberal or conservative, to be about the business of talking about somebody's harm and then what happens is all of the lawyers that are the bad people of the world, everybody wants
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the best lawyer when it is them and their problem that is the problem. and i ask the ker of the bill, how much is his leg worth? when you cut off the wrong leg, who can stand among us and say that $250,000 is enough? so where did that cap come from? it came from a 1978 provision, $250,000, this is 2011, we're moving fast with cos rising. i ask anybody here or that is within the range of this particular measure at this time, please tell me when your health care insurance went down. i don't know of any example, i've been paying health care insurance for 49 years and it's gone up repeatedly during that period of time and i don't care whether that was a republican president or a democratic president. health care costs went up and i
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don't think that this measure here is going to bring it down. what do you think about the familyn chicago wse perfectly healthy baby was born lifeless because the hospital team failed to provide them with proper oxygenation during lor and to perform an emergency c-section onhe mother? theoy is now 5 years old, suffers from permanent neurogical damage and is totally dependent on the care of his parents for all his daily activities. you ask his parents if $250,000 is enough for a lifetime of care. oh, no, then you say, thrust it on the state. let medicaid take care of it. and then what you do under the ryan budget, my good friend, is you say, block grant medicaid, and i saw that movie in florida when they block granted medicaid and it was used for everything else other than for poor people. something is wrong with that
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movie. what about the judge in palm beach county who had a surgical sponge left in his stomach after having abdominal surgery and had to wait five months to have it removed? by then the massmeasured more than a foot long and a foot wide and the rotted part of his intesten had to be removed skfment -- intestine had to be removed. ask him if a lawsuit is frivolous. each case and each injury is different. it is not the role of congress to decide the fate of these individuals and families devastated by malpractice, by establishing arbitrary limits on the financial compensation that they are entitled to. as you all know, the medical malpractice portion of this bill is actually a pay-for meant to offset the repeal of the independent payment advisory board. ipab, as it's referred to around here, is a board of 15 physicians and experts established by the affordable
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health care act to find ways to control health care costs associated with medicare. under the act ipab will make recommendations to slow the growth rate in medicare spendi if spending exceeds a certa target rate. the congressional budget office estimates that the repeaof ipab would increase direct spending by $3.1 billion over 10 years. $3.1 billion. now is not the time to repeal measures thatty save our nation money -- that can save our nation money and reduce our desit without offering any -- deficit without offering any substitute and that's the takeaway from this. my friends say, don't do ipab and i say to my friends, what do you do? and you do nothing. that's what you do and that's what you've been doing here in the congress since we came here. we have given do-nothing congress a new meaning, rather than dealing with jobs, the
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things that people are completely interested in, rather than passing the infrastructure measure that the senate has passed that will deal with -- immediately with jobs in america, we are around here passing a measure and it will pass the floor of the house of representatives, that will go to the senate and go nowhere. so then what ask we do? we did nothing. the congressional budget office also estimates that thanks to the cost-saving mechanisms in place in the affordable care act , ipab will not likely be required to act for t next 10 years. i heard my coeagues just a minute ago say that health care costs have gonep since president obama has been in office. my mom is fond of saying that if we're going to keep pointing back to e other president, if we say now obama says bush did it and bush said that clinton did it and then clinton said that bush did it and bush said
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that nixon did it and nixon said that carter did it, then we could just point back to george washington and say george washington did it. and get it all over with. rather than continuing this charade before the people are thking that somehow or another we have the solution here. health care costs have gone up and they're going to continue to go up until we, as men and women in the house of repsentatives and the united states senate and the american people sit down and decide that this is a solvable problem which will allow us to address those things that are vital in this country. the bill is a complete waste of time. it does nothing, in addition to going nowhere, it does nothing to help the american people, it contains nothing to improve the affordable and accessibility of health care and repealing ipab, you want to talk about frivolous, that's what frivolous is. let us give the american people what they really need right now
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and that's jobs. how many times have we -- do we have to say that down here for people to finally get it? frankly i'm appalled by the hypocrisy of my republican colleagues who keep stating that federal spending needs to be kept under control. but at the first opportunity they wind up rejecting one of the most serious tools in place to actually tackle medicare spending and find ways to make care more affordable. what are the republicans offering to replace ipab? nothing. since the beginning of the 112th congress, the republican majority has sought to repeal as many provisions of the affordable care act as possible. without providing any replacement, listen to that, without providing any replacement and absolutely no long-term solutions. if we do nothing medicare costs will continue to increase.
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thereby increasing the burden on millns of seniors, disabled individuals and their families all across this country. what is the republican plan? what is the plan? it is to replace medicare with the new ryan budget introduced yesterday, replace it with some kind of premium something that ain't nothing but a voucher system that would certainly result in increased costs for seniors and reduced benefits. the truth is that the republicans have no plan to reduce medicare and defy them toresent it. if you look at the budget that was released yesterday, it's all filled with blank spaces and i'll fill in the line, nothing, nothing, nothing. so instead of just repealing ipab, let us improve it, reform it or replace it. by doing nothing it's surely not going to fix the problem. i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr.
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hastings, reserves his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: madam speaker, i'd like to have my fellow member of the rules committee, freshman, rob woodall from georgia, and give him three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from georgia is recognized for three minutes. mr. woodall: madam speaker, i very much appreciate that and i ank my colleague on th rules committee for yielding. i want to come down here and talk about the rule, my colleague from florida's just made a very impassioned case for why he is likely going to be voting no on the underlying legislation. if i understood his comments correctly, i'm guessing that it's going to be a no vote after we have finished six hours of debate on this bill. six hos of debate. which is the kind of debate that a bill of this nature demands. and i'm very proud that the rules committee set aside that kind of time. now, i was fortunate enough to have one of my amendments made in order by the rules committee, as was my friend fr florida,
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but a lot of members were not and i wanted to come down he, madam speaker, to speak to the authorizers, the chairman out there, who -- chairmen out there,ho are sending this legislation to the floor. because what we have in this house is cald the cut-go resume which says if you bring a ll to the floor -- rule which says that if you bring a bill to the floor that's actually going to do some reducing of the federal deficit, if you're going to be bold enough in this house to send a ll to the floor that's going to reduce the burden that we're placing on our children and grandchildren every day, then nothing that happens on the floor of the house, as we try to amend that bill, will be allowed to reduce that savings. so when a bill comes to the floor as this bill has, h.r. 5, that has a very high cut-g number in it, we're in a box. it cannot be amended with different ideas because those ideas are either not germane, germaneness means that had has to be relevant to the underlying legislation, or they can't cut any additional funds. and so what we had to do in the
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rules committee yesterday was reject amendment after amendment after amendment that our colleagues offered that we would ordinarily have made in order here on the house floor in what has been the single most open congress that i have seen in my lifetime, i'm a freshm on the floor of this house, i've been watching this institution, the single most open congress i've seen in my lifetime, but we were not able to make mor amendments in order because they were not germane or they violated cut-go. to the rules committee credit, we did not waive cut-go. we complied with the rules of this house. but i say to my friends who are on those authorizing committees, if you want to take advantage of the rules committee, in this congress, that is providing more opportunity for more debate and more amendment and more discussion we have seen in decades, you need to be cognizant when you send those bills to the rules committee that we are not inclined to waive cut-go and rightfully so and we are not inclined to waive the germaneness rules and rightfully so.
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but that means today we are going to have the narrow discussion that our friend from florida has on the bill, oh, six hours today, and i want to thank my friend on the rul committee for bringing such an open rule to the floor and bringing such an expansive rule to the floor and providing the kind of opportunity for bate even though i disagree for my friend from florida, providing opportunity for debate, the likes of which america has not seen in decades. and i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: madam speaker, my friend from georgia -- and he is my friend -- pointed out that his amendment was made in order yesterday. i might add in keeping with the notion if you can't have it both ways, he'd strike all the findings and it seems to me that's admitting justification
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for the authority to pass federal tort reform but it directly contradicts the same constitutional arguments will make next week in front of the supreme court to reform the affordable care act. i'm very pleased to yield three minutes to my very good frid from new jersey, a member of the budget committee, the distinguished gentleman, mr. andrews. mr. andrews: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new jersey is recognized for three minutes. mr. andrews: i thank my friend for yielding. whether you're a democrat or republican, liberal or conservative, no matter where you live, i think the number one issue confrontingur country is the lack of jobs. it is the central issue of our times, central problem of our times. the american people want us to
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look forward and work together and solve that problem rather than looking backward and relit gaiting political debates. 195 days ago the president of the ited states came to this chamber and set forth a series of specific ideas to put americans back to work. one of those ideas was to put construction workers back to work repairing and building our roads and bridges, building schools, wiring schools for the internet, putting our construction industry and transportation iustry back to work. we're going to spend six hours debating whether to repeal part of the health care bill, again. we're not going to spend six minutes debating a bill that will put our construction workers back to work fixing our roads and bridges. now, the republican leadership of the house is kind of isolated on this because democrats in the other body voted for a bill to put our
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construction workers back to work, and republicans in the other body voted for the same bill. 3/4 of the senate voted to put our construction workers back to work. we introduced a version of that yesterday that says let's do that here, but the house republican leadership won't put this bill the floor. so instead what we're going to do is have one of our recurring debates about whether to repeal the health care bill. now, people feel very strongly about the health care bill, pro and con, but most people feel even more strongly it's the wrong thing for us to be talking about right now. if there's a bill that 3/4 of the senate voted for to put americans back to work, where don't we vote on that here today? instead, what we're going to do is vote on repealing part of the bill that talks about a committee that might or might
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not take action five years from now too something the way medicare money is spent. i think if you are in this country, what wouldou like your house of representatives to be voting on today? a vote to put construction transportation workers back to work or a bill that will decide whether a body will or won't act five years from now on t way medicare is going to be run? i think we all know the answer to that. the right thing to do oppose this rule and instead put on the floor theenate transportation bill that 3/4 of the senate voted for. let's approve it. let's put it on the president's desk and let's finally work to put americans back to work. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: madam speaker, i love the hyperbole.
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i love my friend from florida, his passionate discourse earlier in this conversation. but he was right, you can't have it both ways. and here's the problem. and their idea of having it both ways, they talk about medical malpractice as if -- if we do nothing, things get better. if we ignore tort reform, things get better. if we ignore tort reform, cost of health care will stay the same. well, in fact, it hasn't. it continues to rise. talk about higher health care costs, but when we talk about that we talk about ipab in particular. 15, 15 unelected bureaucrats. the maximum number that can be on that panel is seven physicians. seven. so they're outvoted already. they're outvoted 8-7 no matter what they think is the proper care for a patient.
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they're going to be overridden by eight other bureaucrats that have nothing to do with providing health care to our seniors. not a thing. it's all going to be about cost, and they're right. that's how you're going to contain costs, by removing the options for seniors to get the medical care that they deserve and that they need. this independent panel is a rationing board. it's going to ration health care out because that's the only way that panel can save money for the affordable care act. it was designed that way. it was designed to keep us, the american people that are going to use that service, that medical care, to preclude us from getting it because physicians, when they get their payments cut, will no longer offer service. so where are we supposed to go? that is rationing.
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that's taking away service from people that need it the most. those seniors that have paid into this system for their lifetime and now are depending up it to be there when they medically need it the most. this is about -- this is about the seniors that are in my district. i have 250,000 seniors, a quarter of a million, that rely upon medicare. and if we're going to start rationing care to them, i think it's immoral and it's unethical and it's not the way we should be doing it. we should be doing about free market. we should be talking about tort reform that everybody agrees that tort reform, even the gentleman from florida talked about highost of medical malpractice insurance. well, where does that come from? doesn't just spring up out of the earth. it comes up for a reason. because the increased cost to
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provide medical malpractice and particarly for doctors where it drives up the cost of medical care, is that -- that's defensive medical care. that's what's driving up the costs, along with the premium they have to pay because the lack of tort reform. madam speaker, i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent, reserves his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: i yield myself such time as i may consume. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. hastings: i'll be very brief before yielding to my friend from the rules committee . my friend from florida says that he appreciates the hyperbole. i hyperbole on occasion to find that my friend who is taking positions that going to hurt people require everything from hyperbole to passion to try to get the american people to
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readily understand. and to demonstrate what we are talking about, my friend just stood up and said that the ipab board will be rationing. the statute, if it ever comes into existence in the future, specifically says that they cannot ration. i don't know whether my friend read that provision or not, but i am pleased to yield one minute to my friend on the rules committee from colorado, mr. polis. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from colorado is recognized for one minute. mr. polis: i thank the gentleman from florida. we're in an unusual situation here where the same people on the other side of the aisle who decry theegulation of what insurance providers have to provide to those they insure across state borders who want to interfere with our requirement that insurance companies not be allowed discriminate based on
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pre-existing conditions on the other hand say we need to replace the state tort systems, all 50 of them, with one overarchin federal approach with regard to malpractice. so whereas there is no federal role to protecting patients from being dropped by their insurers, from preventing insurance companies from excluding individuals because they had childhood asthma, because they are breast cancer survivor and many cases because they have a child, while there is no federal rule for that somehow there is a federal role in micro managing the way in -- micromanaging the way in one that is botched by a procedure can seek recourse. i ask my colleagues, not only where is the consistency, but how can we reconcile this with our values as americans? i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida. mr. nugent: madam speaker, i have to agree with my good friend from florida on one
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issue and that's with regards to rationing. you're right. it's not in the act, but, you know, if it walks like a duck and quaks like a duck, it's a -- crosswalks like a duck it's -- and quacks like a duck, it's a duck. there e things that congress can't even touch. this board is going to say, this is the amount of money that we will pay for this procedure. doesn't matter if that's what the procedure costs. doesn't matter that this doesn't cover the cost of the physician. it doesn't matter that what's going to happen are physicians going to refuse to these those patients. madam speaker, that's rationing. call it what you want, that is rationing when you have an independent board that can make decisions in regards to the cost of services that you're going to make or decisions for you to have services by a particular doctor and we see it already today. in my physician's office, it
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already says we do not take new medicare patients. it's going to get worse, and this board, while it may not call it rationing, and i give them great credit for them not putting it in the terminology of the affordable care act, it is rationing no matter what you call it. i yield back -- i reser the balance of mtime. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida. mr. hastings: i yield myself just for a moment. i yield myself such time as i may consume. what you're saying is the ipab board, which may bring down costs, and i might add you just said that congress could not touch it, quoting you. that's not true. congress could change it so long as it stays within the prescribed limits, and that is simply what the law itself says. well, what is the reblican plan? as i understand it from mr. ryan's budget oered yesterday, it would be a premium system for medicare.
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now, you just said that rationing by any other name or you know it wh it's a duck and all that kind of stuff, well, a voucher by any other name is still a voucher. and you're going to tell me that's a good system? i yield to my friend. mr. nugent: well, if you look what the ryan plan says, it also talks about what we currently have today. if you want to keep what you have today in the way of medicare, youeep it. but if you want to go out and buy your own insurance to a select group, you can do it. just like you can today in regards to medicare advantage. but there's a choice that i can make. mr. hastings: i reclaim my time. mr. nugent: i thanyou, first of all, for giving me the time. mr. hastings: just to reclaim my time to say that you had it right, select. for example, our governor in the state of florida had one of those select provisions, and he's one of these people that wants us to turn everything over. i had the good fortune yesterday of having the chairman of the blue cross blue
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shields who thinks that this particular measure is something that would be helpful in his industry. but that's one thing for another day. madam speaker, if we defeat the previous question, i'm going to offer an amendment to the rule to provide that immediately after the house adopts this rule that it bring up h.r. 14, the house companion to the bipartisan senate transportation bill, a i'm pleased now to yield to the distinguished gentleman from new york, mr. bishop, my good friend, three minutes. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from new york is recognized for three minutes. mr. bishop: thank you very much, madam speaker, and i thank my friend from floda for yielding. you know, time and time again over the last several months we have heard from republican leadership. we've heard their talk about the highway bill, h.r. 7, and they've talked about it as their principal jobs bill for the 112th congress. well, here we are, march 21, 10 days before the expiration of
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the current extension of the surface transportation bill and where are we with respect to this incredibly important jobs legislation? we're absolutely nowhere. as of today house republicans have yet to put forward a credible highway re-authorization that puts americans back to work. their only steament, h.r. 7, the -- attempt, h.r. 7, the boehner-mica altogether days is, was passed on -- authorization, was passed on february 14. it passed on a party line vote with couple of republicans voting again it. then something happened on the way to the floor. on the way to the floor the republican leadership realized that they didn't have the votes on their side of the aisle to pass it. and what about this bill? well, secretary ray lahood, a former distinguished member of this body, republican from illinois, current transportation secretary, described it as the worst highway bill 's ever
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seen. he's been in public life for 35 years. the bill was drafted in the dark of night without any underlying, any democratic input. remarkably it removed transit from the highway trust fund. removed the guaranteed federal funding that's been in place, bipartisan basis, for 30 years, removes it. and it couldn't attract understandably a single democratic vote but they found out on the way to the floor they couldn't get enough republican votes to pass it either. now i'm proud to be offering had the senate bill, map 21, we're calling it h.r. 14 here in the house, and this bipartis legislation should refocus the discussion on jobs and economic opportunities rather than the repuican message this week of tearing down medicare and protecting the 1% at the expense of middle class families. h.r. 14 represents a bipartisan path forward that makes meaningful reforms and provides certainty to states.
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map 2 is passed overwhelmingly in the senate with a bipartisan majority. as you heard mr. andrews say, 3/4 of the senate voted for this bill. it's fully paid for. something that the house republicans seem unable to come close -- close to achieving and the h.r. 14 pay fors are less controversial than the pay fors in the house republican bill. it's been sfimented -- estimated that this bill will save $1.-- 1.8 million jobs and create up to one million more jobs. during a weak economic recory, looking for a jumpstart, why aren't we passing this bill? why aren't we even debating this bill? why are we 10 days away from the expiration of the current extension and there's no plan, underline no plan, in this house to move forward. is h.r. 14 the silver bulle to our transportation needs? no, it's not. can i have an additional minute? mr. hastings: i yield the gentleman an additional one minute. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman is recognized. mr. bishop: thank you very much. i appreciate you yielding. there isn't a -- isn't a silver bullet when it comes to our infrastructure needs. i and a great many others would
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prefer a five-year bill. but given the hyperpartisan fashion in which the house republicans have advanced h.r. 7 and some of the deeply flawed proposals included in their bill, h.r. 14 is the only proposal out there that currently democrats and republicans can stand behind. democrats will not wait around for house republicans to pander to their base and chase ideological extremes. americans want jobs and safe roads and safe bridges. the senate passed the biggest job creating bill in this congress by an overwhelming bipartisan margin, the house has done nothing. let's get this country moving again by passing h.r. 14 so the president can sign it. let's create jobs, let's make it in america and pass this bill. i yield back the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman yields back the balance of his time. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: mr. speaker, may i inquire of my friend from florida how many speakers he has? mr. hastings: madam speaker, would you advise both of us how
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much time each has? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida has six minutes remaining. the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent, has 14 minutes. mr. hastings: i ha more speakers than i have time but i know that during that period of time that i'm going to have at least two more speakers and possibly three. mr. nugent: i'll continue to reserve. mr. hastings: i'm pleased to yield two minutes to the gentleman from oregon, mr. good friend, mr. defazio. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from oregon is recognized for two minutes. mr. defazio: repeal and replace, that's what the republicans said ey'd do. what's the replacement? apparently it's the ryan voucher plan which will stick it to seniors in the future. not too good of a replacement. but the other thing they're repealing that they don't want to talk about is the repealing restrictions on a discrimination by the insurance industry, they would be
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repealing the restrictions on pre-existing conditions, to discriminate against people. redline them see lentionly by the insurance industry and they would be repealing the provision of reviewing excessive rate increases which has been already successful in california this year. so the republicans, you know, have come forward with this one part of the bill, they've already repealed all of obamacare, but now they're going to repeal it bit by bit because they don't want to do real things like deal with our transportation system and that. but there's one particularly objectionable part of this. they're going to pretend that they're taking away the antitrust protection of the insurance industry remember, this is an industry that can and does get together and collude to drive up our premiums. and just -- after the republicans do away with age discrimination, pre-existing condition and rate increases, the industry's going to have a field day. so they're pretending that they're going to allow suits
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against the industry for antitrust violations. unfortunately not really. if someone wants to bring a suit, they can't do it as a class action. well, mo than 90% of antitrust suits are brought as class actions. individuals do not have the resources to take on the insurance industry. so they're going to take something that in the last congress was bipartisan, a bill i had to really take away the anti-trust immunity in the insurance industry, give a benefit to all consumers in this country, pass this house by 406-19 and now they're going to fake out they think the american people by pretending they're taking on the insurance industry while they're filling their pocket with contributions from them. good work, guys. the speaker pro mpore: the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: mam speaker, i'm a little confused because i thought we were talking about other issues than what the gentleman wajust speaking to. particully about, as it relates to ipab, and about tort
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reform and i'll beappy to reserve the balance of my ti. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman reserves. the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: thank you very much, madam speaker. i'm very pleased to yield one minute to the distinguished woman from california, my good friend, ms. richardson. the speaker pro tempore: the gentlelady from florida is recognized for one minute. ms. richardson: i thank the gentleman for yielding so that i might speak to the house companion bill of map-21 of h.r. 14 of which i'm a co-sponsor. map-21, which we call h.r. 14 going forward, will generate jobs, repair roads and bridges and invest in our infrastructure. this surface transportation authorization bill passed by the senate by far with the majority and with bipartisan support. i come before you today to urge my colleagues to let's bring this bill forward, h.r. 14, so that we might establish some consistency, unlike what we saw with the f.a.a. re-authorization. consistency for states, for companies, for workers, for projects that need to get done. this bill will maintain curren
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funding levels for highways and public transportation, it will consolidate and streamline highway programs and establish a much-needed national freight program. this bill will authorize $1 billion for projects of national significance which many of us feel in our own particular districts. h.r. 14 also improves the safety and institutes performance measures and improves accountability for transportation infrastructure investments. will the gentleman yield an additional 30 seconds? mr. hastings: i yield the gentlelady an additional 30 seconds. the spker pro tempore: the gentlelady is recognized for 30 seconds. ms. richardson: now is the time for swift action by this house on a bipartisan senate bill that will create and save at least 132,000 jobs in my area alone. transportation has always been bipartisan, let's keep it that way in this house and i urge the support of h.r. 14 and i reserve the balance of my time. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida.
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mr. nugent: i continue to reserve. the speaker pro tempore: continues to reserve. the gentleman from florida, mr. hastings. mr. hastings: most respectfully i would ask of the speaker to inquire of the gentleman if he's ready to close. mr. nugent: i am ready. mr. hastings: allight. then i'm going to be our last hyperbole. madam speaker, first would you tell me justow much time i do have? the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from florida has 2 1/2 minutes remaining. mr. hastings: thank you. that said, madam speaker, i thank my friend for the debate and the time that he's allowed us. i think all of our colleagues who came here -- i thank all of our colleagues who came here. this h.r. 5 is going to be devastating to medical malpractice victims. parents -- patients shouldn't have to pay the price for excessive malpractice insurance. if we want to reform the medical liability system, let us start with addressing insurance sts and physicians' premiums. let us start with finding
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strategies to reduce and prevent mistakes and crack down on repeat offenders. today 5% of all doctors are responsible for 54% of malpractice claims paid. let's not stt with penalizing patients for injuries due to no fault of their own. let's not give the american people another reason to believe that congrs is out of touch. thousands of people die each and every year due to medical malpractice. this is not frivolous. we had 16 of our members come forward yesterday to offer amendments. we're going to have six hours of debate on six, because we in the rules committee have the power to refuse to waive the power to allow those amendments toome in. some that included things such as not being able to allow a child 3 years old who may have a
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matter that doesn't manifest itself until he or she is 8 be barred because of time constraints. measures that deal with, like the pediatrician in delaware who raped 100 or more children, babies, and that physician would not be allowed for sh know that one would argue that some lawsuits are frivolous and they are. i am a lawyer. i am a trial lyer. and so i clearlysupport the trial lawyers. so that's understand. but when people are dying, that's not frivolous and as i said, people want the best lawyer that they can find. madam speaker, i ask unanimous consent to insert the text of the amendment in the record along with extraneous material immediately prior to the vote on the previous question and i urge my colleagues to vote no and to defeat the previous question. i urge a no vote on the rule and
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i do so for the reason that this measure does nothing, is going nowhere, will go to the senate and will not pass and everybody in this house knows it. we have to stop doing nothing and do something for the american people and jobs. the speaker pro tempore: the gentleman from -- without objection, the gentleman's request is so ordered the gentleman from florida, mr. nugent. mr. nugent: madam speaker, i appreciate my good friend's confessi about being a trial lawyer. i'm not. i'm not an attorney. so what i'm worried about is not how attorneys enrich themselves, i'm worried about the people that i represent, 250,000-plus, that are on medicare. i'm concerned about them. i'm concerned about, you know, you hear from the other side, well, don't worry about it, it could be five, 10 years from now. well, you know what? i'm concerned now because why would you have something put in place that'going to ration
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care to our seniors when they need it the most? that's when they need it the most. we should be advocatg for them. not for trial lawyers. we should be here talking about tort reform to lower the cost. if you look at what california did, they set up a model program. their liabity insurance for doctors is lower than the average across the board in the united states. you know, this health care -- this act, health act, is modeled after that. regards to the noneconomic damages, limits on contingency fees for lawyers, big one there, about fair share, about, you know, a proportional -- whoever's at fault is as a proportion of that, referenced to how the claim gets paid out. but, you know, according to the c.b.o., and i heard this talked
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about before, but you know, will the health care act work to reduce health care costs and lower the deficit? according to the c.b.o. it will. it will be an average of 25% to 30% below what it would be under current law which is ipab today. 25% to 30% less than what the current law ipab calls for. is this important? i think the relationship between a patient and a doctor should be between a patient and a doctor, not have a middle man called the united states government stepping in between you to say, you know what? we don't think that that service deserves a certain level of payment and by reducing that payment we know that that's thank service not going to be provided. i truly don't believe that that's where we should be as a government and i certainly don't believe that we should be in between the patient and their
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physician. and i worry about and i hear this from dox all the time back in my district, that rich, you know what's diagnose to hapn? we're just going -- going to happen? we're justoing to close our doors. you know, those that are entering the profession, there's less and less because they're concerned about how they're going toake a living, ho they're going to pay back those student loans that they have because they really want to pay it back, they want to do the right thing, but how are they going to do that? if they can't open a practice and if they can't take medicare patients because this board makes the decision to lower the cost of reimbursement? we've seen it already, every time we do doc fix, we have more and more doctors that are in trouble because of the fact that they don't know what tomorrow's going to bring. . and i don't want our seniors to worry about what our seniors are going to bring i don't want
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to balance the budget on the back of our seniors. that's not where we need to be. you know, as we move along here, the reason i stand here today is because i support and i'll defend our seniors which is why i support h.r. 5. because it's common sense. like i said, i'm not an attorney, i' not a lawyer, i have but one constituency that i worry about at this point on this particular issue and it is this issue. you heard things about transportation and all these things, but this is the pressing issue today in front of us. the issue is about tort reform. the issue is about ipab and repealing ipab so our seniors can have a direct relationship with the physician of their choice. of their choice.
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>> on washington journal this morning, arlen specter of the presidential campaign and the health care debate. also, we'll irwin of the washington post on the european debt crisis and recent testimony from ben bernanke and timothy geithner on the future of the economy. washington journal is live on c- span every day at 7:00 a.m. on c-span. >> it describes tinderbox and read moss. in some places, it is incredibly destructive. understanding that these two categories exist allows you to think, ok. what are the factors that keep the virus moving and what can we do to end it? >> the history of aids at sunday
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night at 9:00, part of a booktv weekend on c-span2. >> president obama was in nevada and visiting the copper mountain solar facility. during this event, the president outlined his energy strategy. >> hello, everybody. [applause] good afternoon. everybody, please have a seat. have a seat. it is wonderful to be here. thank you so much. it is great to be in boulder city. a couple people i want to thank for their outstanding work. first of all, our interior secretary, ken salazar, is in the house. [applause] he's the guy in the nice-looking hat. not only does it look good, but
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it protects his head, because the hair has gotten a little thin up there. [laughter] he is a good-looking guy. >> one of them. one of them. >> one of them. [laughter] that's right. there's the other guy. [laughter] i also want to thank your mayor -- a big supporter of solar energy -- and that's roger tobler, for being here. where's roger? here he is right there. i just met his beautiful daughter. it's great to see you. [applause] i want to thank jeffrey martin, ceo of sempra, and john and kevin, who helped just give me this tour. and boulder city is the first stop on a tour where i'll be talking about what we're calling an all-of-the-above energy strategy -- all of the above. a strategy that relies on producing more oil and gas here in america, but also more biofuels, more fuel-efficient cars, more wind power and, as you can see, a whole lot more solar power. this is the largest solar plant of its kind anywhere in the country.
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that's worth applauding. [applause] every year, you produce enough clean energy to power around 17,000 homes. and that's just the beginning. things are going so well that another plant is already under construction down the road that will eventually power another 45,000 homes. and a third plant is in development that will be, one day, able to power around 66,000 homes. now, this is an area that was hit hard by the recession -- and that's true of the whole state. you guys have been through a lot. but you haven't given up. you looked around at this flat, beautiful land and all this sun -- i just -- i asked the question, how many days of sun do you get a year -- 320 -- that's pretty good -- and decided that boulder city was the perfect place to generate
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solar power. in fact, as i was talking to the folks from sempra, they were explaining that this location is almost optimal for solar power generation, not only because it's flat, transmission lines were already here, the sun is traveling and there's no haze and it's absolutely clear. and so this is an extraordinary opportunity for the community. and when a business showed up with plans to build a new solar plant, hundreds of local workers got jobs because of it. thousands of families are now powering their homes with a cleaner, renewable source of energy. and this is not just happening here in boulder city -- it's happening in cities and towns all across america. according to experts, we've now got more than 5,600 solar companies nationwide, and many of them are small businesses. there are solar companies in every single state in the union.
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and today, we're producing enough solar energy to power 730,000 american homes. and because of the investments we've made as a nation, the use of renewable energies has actually doubled. so this is an industry on the rise. it's a source of energy that's becoming cheaper, we all know it's cleaner. and more and more businesses are starting to take notice. they're starting to look around for more places like boulder city to set up shop. when i took office i said, why not give these businesses some access to public lands that aren't otherwise being utilized? at the time, there wasn't a single solar project in place on public lands -- not one. today, thanks to some great work by ken salazar, we've got 16 solar projects approved. [applause]
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and when they're complete, we'll be generating enough energy to power 2 million homes. and that's progress. we're also enforcing our trade laws to make sure countries like china aren't giving their solar companies an unfair advantage over ours. [applause] and that's important because countries all around the world -- china, germany, you name it -- they understand the potential. they understand the fact that as countries all around the world become more interested in power generation -- their population is expanding, their income level is going up, they use more electricity -- and we're going to have to make sure that we're the guys who are selling them the technology and the know-how to make sure that they're getting the power that they need. in fact, just yesterday, our administration determined china wasn't playing fair when it came to solar power. and so we took the first step
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towards leveling the playing field, because my attitude is, when the playing field is level, then american workers and american businesses are always going to win. and that's why we've got to make sure that our laws are properly enforced. [applause] now, you'd think given this extraordinary site, given the fact that this is creating jobs, generating power, helping to keep our environment clean, making us more competitive globally, you'd think that everybody would be supportive of solar power. that's what you'd think. and yet, if some politicians had their way, there won't be any more public investment in solar energy. there won't be as many new jobs and new businesses. some of these folks want to dismiss the promise of solar power and wind power and fuel- efficient cars.
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in fact, they make jokes about it. one member of congress who shall remain unnamed called these jobs "phony" -- called them phony jobs. i mean, think about that mindset, that attitude that says because something is new, it must not be real. if these guys were around when columbus set sail, they'd be charter members of the flat earth society. [laughter] we were just talking about this -- that a lack of imagination, a belief that you can't do something in a new way -- that's not how we operate here in america. that's not who we are. that's not what we're about. these politicians need to come to boulder city and see what i'm seeing. [applause] they should talk to the people who are involved in this industry, who have benefitted from the jobs, who benefit from
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ancillary businesses that are related to what's going on right here. now, all of you know that when it comes to new technologies, the payoffs aren't always going to come right away. sometimes, you need a jumpstart to make it happen. that's been true of every innovation that we've ever had. and we know that some discoveries won't pan out. there's the vcr and the beta and the -- all that stuff. [laughter] and each successive generation recognizes that some technologies are going to work, some won't, some companies will fail, some companies will succeed. not every auto company succeeded in the early days of the auto industry. not every airplane manufacturer succeeded in the early days of the aviation. but we understood as americans that if we keep on this track, and we're at the cutting edge, then that ultimately will make our economy stronger and it will make the united states
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stronger. it will create jobs. it will create businesses. it will create opportunities for middle-class americans and folks who want to get into the middle class. that's who we are. that's what we're about. [applause] so i want everybody here to know that as long as i'm president, we will not walk away from the promise of clean energy. [applause] we're not going to walk away from places like boulder city. i'm not going to give up on the new to cede our position to china or germany or all the other competitors out there who are making massive investments in clean energy technology. i refuse to see us stand by and not make the same commitment. that's not what we do in america. it's not who we are as a country. one of the main reasons i ran for this office is i didn't think that our leaders were doing enough to tackle the big
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challenges, the hard challenges, to seize the big opportunities. and energy is one of the best examples. we have been talking about changing our energy policies for 30 years now. when i was the age of these guys right here, when i was 10, 11, right, in the '70s, and my grandparents were complaining about long gas lines, we were talking about how we were going to do things differently. thirty, 40 years, and we keep on doing the same stuff. we keep on punting. we keep on putting it off. for decades, washington kept kicking the can down the road. i don't want to do that anymore. i want to make sure when these guys are grown up that they're seeing solar panels all across the country. they're seeing american-made energy and american-made power. they're benefiting from a cleaner environment. they're seeing jobs and
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opportunity -- that's what i want to see. so as long as i'm president, we're going to develop every available source of energy. that is a promise that i'm making to you. [applause] and, yes, that means we make investments in stuff that is new, and we stop subsidizing stuff that's old. the current members of the flat earth society in congress - [laughter] -- they would rather see us continue to provide $4 billion -- $4 billion -- in tax subsidies, tax giveaways, to the oil companies -- $4 billion to an industry that is making record profits. every time you fill up the pump, they're making money. they are doing just fine. they're not having any problems. and yet, on top of what we're paying at the pump, we're also going to give them $4 billion
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in subsidies that could be going into making sure there were investments in clean energy for the future? that doesn't make any sense. does that make any sense? >> no! >> all right, i just wanted to make sure. because i didn't think it was a wise use of your tax dollars. [laughter] we have subsidized oil companies for a century. we want to encourage production of oil and gas, and make sure that wherever we've got american resources, we are tapping into them. but they don't need an additional incentive when gas is $3.75 a gallon, when oil is $1.20 a barrel, $1.25 a barrel. they don't need additional incentives. they are doing fine. >>it is our retirement! >> yes. a century of subsidies to oil companies is long enough. it's time to end the taxpayer giveaways to an industry that's rarely been more profitable, and double down on investments
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in an energy industry that has never been more promising. [applause] that's what we need to do. so congress needs to pass more tax credits for projects like this one -- needs to provide certainty when it comes to these tax credits. we need to go out there and do what a lot of states are doing right now, which is saying, let's get a certain percentage of our energy from clean energy sources. because when we do that, that gives a company like this one certainty that they're going to have customers, and they can invest more and build more. [applause] we need to keep americans on the job. we need to keep these homes powered by clean energy. we need to support the businesses that are doing it. and again, i just want everybody to be clear -- because sometimes, when you listen to the news and you listen to some of these other politicians, they seem a little bit confused about what i'm saying. we are going to continue
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producing oil and gas at a record pace. that's got to be part of what we do. we need energy to grow. that's why we're producing more oil right now, here in america, than at any time in the last eight years -- any time in the last eight years. we're opening up more land for oil exploration. we've got more oil rigs operating. there are more pipelines out there that are being approved. i'll be visiting one of those rigs and one of those pipelines this week. but an energy strategy that focuses only on drilling and not on an energy strategy that will free ourselves from our dependence on foreign oil, that's a losing strategy. that's not a strategy i'm going to pursue. america uses 20 percent of the world's oil, and we've got 2 percent of the world's oil reserves. think about -- i wasn't a math major, but i just want -- [laughter] -- if you're using 20, you've
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only got 2, that means you got to bring in the rest from someplace else. why wouldn't we want to start finding alternatives that make us less reliant, less dependent on what's going on in the middle east? [applause] newe've got to develop energy technologies, new energy sources. it's the only way forward. and here in boulder city, you know that better than anybody. you know the promise that lies ahead because this city has always been about the future. eight decades ago, in the midst of the great depression, the people of boulder city were busy working on another energy project you may have heard of. like today, it was a little bit ahead of its time, it was a little bit bigger than this solar plant -- it was a little louder, too. it was called the hoover dam. and at the time, it was the largest dam in the world. [applause] even today, it stands as a testimony to american ingenuity, american imagination,
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the power of the american spirit -- a testimony to the notion we can do anything. that was true back then, it is true today. you know the choice we need to make when it comes to energy. we've got to invest in a sustained, all-of-the-above strategy that develops every available source of energy. we've got to stay ahead of the curve. we've got to make sure that we're taking some risks. we've got to make sure that we're making the investments that are necessary. we've got to support extraordinary entrepreneurs that are on the cutting-edge. that's who we are. that's what we do. and if we keep on doing it, nothing is going to stop us. thank you very much, everybody. god bless you. god bless the united states of america. thank you. [applause] [captioning performed by national captioning institute]
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[captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2012]
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>> general john aaron testified for a second time this week about u.s. military operations in afghanistan. today he will go before the senate armed services committee and talk about the situation in afghanistan. watch live coverage at 9:30 a.m. eastern on c-span3. on this morning's washington journal, pennsylvania senator arlen specter and washington post reporter neal irwin. the house will discuss certain provisions of the health care law. live house coverage is at 10:00 a.m. eastern. the house budget committee
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approved the 2013 gop budget package. we will pick it up with remarks by pennsylvania congresswoman allison schwartz. >> because the budget repealed the health law we passed -- affordable care act -- the opportunity that has already taken place to close the doughnut hole for prescription drug coverage -- i would gradually over time close that entire gap because the budget
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assumes repealed. that would go away. that cost would then be shifted back to seniors. is that correct? >> the assumptions are that the savings from the affordable care act and medicare should not have gone to expansion in other entitlement programs. >> if it is the same entitlement program. >> it should not have been used to cover -- which should be devoted to the solvency of medicare and deficit reduction. the budget assumes an expansion of the affordable care act or appeal. in terms of the other assumptions and how it is implemented, that will be up to the ways and means committee. >> they could decide they are going to find money elsewhere in the budget that would actually meet the additional expansion as
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you say of coverage for medicare beneficiaries through a very specific expansions, as you call it, under medicare. the doughnut hole is. to be closed -- going to be closed. the additional benefits for prescription drug coverage -- they no longer have to pay the 20% drug pay when expansion goes away. primary care -- those are additional cost that expand under medicare. there are others you consider -- expansion inappropriate. they are going away. sometime in the future, they can reinstate that if they refund the money. under this budget, it is expansion. it did a bad idea. it goes away.
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>> the market assumes that the affordable care act will be repealed. in terms of the specific, we can go to the individual -- individual assumptions, but the budget does not determined the doughnut hole. the committee of jurisdiction determines the details. >> because the health law will be repealed, at least for now the assumption has to be the expansions will advance. it is clear they will be repealed. on that, the budget also assumes the $500 billion in savings under the affordable care act -- those savings were referred to last year as "cuts on medicare" -- they are
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accounted for in the budget as a savings. >> we assume those savings being dissolved into the solvency of medicare instead of covering expansion. >> but they stay in place. there was some confusion about that. i wanted to be clear that that remains. i just wanted to follow up -- the chairman asked about the 1% increase if medicare goes above the 1% increase. in a competitive system, the private insurance companies decide to spend more or charge more than the 1% of gdp -- the government will no longer pay more than 1% of gdp. that is what you said before. that you would tap it at 1%. who would pay that difference of then? i assume it is not defined in
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the budget. who would pick up the difference? anything in the budget that does not allow them to charge more to beneficiaries? >> the assumption is the competitive bidding would bring us well within the 0.5% of gdp. the premium support payment would be capped at that level. it is the same thing with respect of how the president's proposal works. it is not clear how the savings will be achieved. but you also embraced a 1% cap on government spending and the potential exists out there for that shift to be made for individual seniors insurers can decide they are going to charge more. i have to yield back at this point.
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[unintelligible] >> assumptions are that the medicare savings go towards solvency of the program and deficit reduction, not expansion. >> [unintelligible] >> thank you. i want to understand how you treat transportation under this bill. we get a sense of exactly how much is going to be available if this is enacted for the transportation function? >> yes.
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the transportation function -- we can go through and make comparisons over all -- the largest program in the transportation question is the highway program and transit programs. they are financed by a trust fund. under current law, that trust fund will become saba in the coming fiscal year. -- solvent in the coming fiscal year. the budget reflects a policy that funding for the highway program and transit program should be as it was intended when the program was first intended -- user-fee financed. we start with that assumption that we are going to rebalance highway expenditures with the revenue coming into the highway program. next we do three things in the budget. the first -- there have been
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some general fund transfers that amount to about $35 billion into the highway trust fund. right now, those are not recorded in the cost. they should be. the second thing we do is the budget resolution assumes expansion of oil and gas beyond federal lands. the u.s. has huge energy resources and the federal government is the largest landholder in the united states. we assume the additional proceeds from that exploration activity will go into the highway trust fund. we rely on cbo's estimates. my recollection is it is $4 billion over a 10-year period. it takes a while for those plans to become available. cbo is, we think, conservative on their estimates.
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there is still going to be a large shortfall, which is in the program. we create another sort of mechanism called "a reserve fund per "the chairman at the party to adjust the aggregates in the budget resolution to ensure that if legislation comes along that find other ways of offsetting the shortfall that he can adjust the allocations and provide additional funds to the highway program. >> i would like to understand how much money under this proposal would be guaranteed for the transportation functions next fiscal year. >> our total level far float --
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far function 400 is $57 billion. total outlays are $49 billion. >> how does that compare to the expense this year? >> $89 billion in budget authority and $92.70 billion in outlays. >> ok. $92 billion this year in outlays. $89 billion in budget authority. we would take that down to $57 billion in a 40 and about $50 billion in outlay? >> correct, sir.
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>> thank you. [unintelligible] >> this is the budget we were confused about. i want to make sure we understand it. your budget presumes that compared to the level of transportation funding this fiscal year outlays, you will reduce that by $40 billion-$50 billion in the next fiscal year. is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> have you done any analysis on what impact that would have on projects that are ongoing? >> the trust fund has -- right now, its expenditures are well above revenue. it will go bankrupt in the fiscal year 2013 if congress does not take action. it will have to make dramatic reductions under current law to
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rebalance and bring spending down in line with revenue. there is a policy to deal with that. one is a reserve fund where if congress finds additional savings elsewhere, that can be used to avoid these reductions from occurring. >> just to understand -- your budget presumes that those changes will not occur. is that right? >> the levels reflect current law, but the budget resolution policies are to provide a new source of revenue by virtue of oil and gas exploration. there will be some time before that shows up. it provides a mechanism where if additional savings are found, they can be used for that shortfall at whatever -- whatever level the congress deems to be an appropriate level. >> it assumes for purposes of
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this budget that there will be the $5 billion for oil and gas. >> yes. it is $4 billion-$5 billion -- it goes into the highway program and offset the shortfall. >> partially. [laughter] i should not have said that. >> has cbo scored that particular proposal? >> we have been working with the congressional budget office. it is a complicated area. the contract a party for the program is controlled by the authorizing committees -- committee. it is a program that the state's ultimately manage. the outlays, on the other hand, are controlled by the appropriations committee.
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they set various obligation ceilings. we have been trying to assess the budgetary impact of what happens under current law. >> i guess i am also asking with respect to the revenue you assert is generated from the oil and gas royalties whether or not the cbo has scored that particular provision. >> we gave them assumptions. the estimates on our -- on oil and gas exploration are all based on congressional budget office estimates based on assumptions we gave them. >> are those assumptions available? >> let me just check. i want to double check and get back to you on that in terms of what the specific areas art where an additional exploration
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would be. i just want to double check on that. >> you understand my question. the distinction between cbo working on a policy proposal and including what a reasonable amount of generate -- at a reasonable amount of revenue would be. there is a fundamental distinction between those approaches. >> in the transportation bill, i believed it was the resources committee reported about $4 billion based on specific language provisions of the bill that cbo scored. that is what our estimates are based on. >> thank you. >> before we finished this, i take it would be useful for us all to probe a little bit here. my understanding is that there are, on the order of magnitude
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of $56 billion in outlays that are anticipated for 2013. if these are already legally binding in transportation -- it goes beyond the highway trust fund. no new contracts, no salaries, no new projects -- the agencies would still be committed to $56.30 billion in commitments that have been made in prior years. >> in terms of exactly how executing a situation where the highway trust fund and department of transportation -- they cannot spend more than is available in the trust fund.
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in terms of how that is executed, there are a series of different players in that. state, federal government, and so forth. >> i understand. in the department of transportation, there are more commitments than the highway program. you are allocating, as i understand it, $56 billion of outlays that are scheduled. if you shut everything down, no new programs, you are not paying people. you do not have enough to satisfy the obligations. i just read an analysis last night. that is what i was told. i would like some help. i am not trying to trap you. >> there are some things in our budget resolution in terms of
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reduction in the transportation function. most of it is the highway program. there are other assumptions. for instance, high-speed rail money. there are no assumptions to be made. we had an assumption that the highway program would have to act very quickly to stop spending and that would flow through the entire system, not just at the federal level, but also the state level for programs they administer. >> it will, in fact, hammer our people back home who rely on this. i will give you a copy of the item. it is from "transportation weekly." they say it is $57 billion already committed and you are telling us you will have less than $50 billion available to satisfy these obligations.
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i think we ought to know that going forward to be able to explain to our friends back home what the consequences are of this budget next year. we are going into a construction cycle now. i hope the house could actually approved the bipartisan senate bill that is significantly above this love all for the transportation side. they have a, god forbid, some new revenues. they have 0.75% of the senate approving so we would be able to give people an answer as we go into a construction cycle for the next one. five years. if you would have some of your team looked at this article from "transportation weekly" and help us understand what we are getting into, i would appreciate
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it. >> i thank my colleague. i think the committee will have an opportunity later on to take the position. if i could go back to asking questions about the income security function -- function 600, showing a savings totaling $380 billion. i wonder if you can identify how you assume that savings will be achieved. >> the largest savings are in the mandatory area. the two largest items are food stamps, or snap -- programs forming snap -- we assume the program moves to a block grant
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in 2016. the other large savings is in the area of retirement reform for federal employees, civil employees. i believe we have $112 billion through reforms in that area. we increased the match -- our assumption is we increased the match. federal employees pay the same level that the government pays into their retirement. >> let me focus on snap. i am just going to focus on the budget question here with respect to snap. respect to snap.

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